Saturday, November 29, 2008

Week 2

2 Weeks Old
(her version of the sprinkler)

Embry is doing really well, as in, she's still alive. I don't think we've done anything too terribly bad thus far where parenting is concerned, but she has been rather fussy in her second week of life. She's still sleeping really well at night, but during the daytime she has occasionally cried for what seems like hours on end for no reason that we can figure. During these times we will try everything humanly imaginable to calm her, but nothing works...well besides feeding, but I'm not going to have a baby permanently attached to my chest, sorry. Tonight after hours of comforting and still having a crying baby I finally told Tony to just put her in her crib, turn on the mobile, and shut the door. The crying that followed was probably the worst sound I've ever heard, but it only lasted for maybe 1 minute and then silence. At that point I had Tony go check to make sure she was still alive and she was so we're guessing she was suffering from over stimulation. Now she's been soundly sleeping up there for the past 2 hours...silence is golden.

Embry had her first Thanksgiving on Thursday and now I'm wondering if tryptophan can be passed through breast milk because if so, I'll be devouring all 10lbs of leftover turkey! Just kidding, but it is an interesting thought. Tony's family came down (mom, sister, and both brothers) and my parents came over as well. We got a cute family picture with my film camera (since my digital decided to be disfunctional and suddenly have a non-functioning flash bulb). On Friday we left her with Tony's mom while Tony, Alex, and I went to find some good black friday deals. I saw one lady in Circuit City that brought her approx 1 month old shopping with her...that was brave. I got Embry a few good Disney movies that were on sale at my second home, Target. Tony and I left Embry home again Friday afternoon so we could go see 'Four Christmases' since I'm not big on taking a baby into a movie theater hehe. Grandma Dorothea gave her a bath while we were gone and apparently we left her comb at Sears when we had her picture taken. Friday night we all went to get a family picture taken at the Target portrait studio. The pictures turned out really cute! I got 5 poses and Dorothea got one other pose but there were some that were particularly adorable of Embry laying on a blanket of pink roses...gosh I just want to eat her! We tried to do a pose where all you could see was Tony's hands holding Embry against a black background while she was naked. Well, you can probably imagine how this turned out! We got one picture of that pose where she is screaming, she pooped in Tony's hand twice, peed in his hand once, then I finally took her and she pooped all down my shirt. At that point, I gave up and put her diaper back on and moved on to the next poop-free pose!

So when she first came home we were giving her a pacifier a little bit, then she started to latch on for breast feeding really weird, so we stopped the pacifier. Then after a few days I tried the soothie pacifiers that my sister gave me and they work GREAT! I'd highly recommend them for small babies because it's more of a nipple shape and she hasn't had any trouble latching on while using them. Thanks Jen!

I'm getting really nervous about Tony going back to work on Monday and I'm afraid that nothing will get done all day long. I'm trying to quick get all the Christmas decorating done today and tomorrow so that's one big thing I won't have to worry about while he's at work. He can work from home if things are difficult (and he will be on Wed when I have my dentist appt), but I would feel bad if he was home and getting distracted because Embry was fussy or something. I'm not sure how single moms can do it when their babies are still tiny, I know it would be really hard for me. I'm so blessed to have such a helpful husband and blessed that he has such a flexible job as well!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some More Pics

here are more pics on facebook :)

Album 5
Album 6
Mom's Pics

Friday, November 21, 2008

Week 1

Embry 1 Week Old

So I've decided that I will make a blog entry every Friday to discuss details of Embry's life on a weekly basis. I'm going to include a pic of her in each post as well so it will be easy to see her change over time. I'm excited!

Embry is already a week old! I can't believe it, the time went by so fast, and I WANT IT BACK! Everyone keeps telling me that it just gets better and better, but I can't even imagine it being better than it already is. Honestly, so far she's the best baby I could ever hope for. She will sleep for long stretches of time at night (about 4 hours or so), but I always get her up around 3 hours to change and feed her. It's so weird because I will go to bed and think, 'ok I need to feed her at x:00' and then I will automatically get up at that time even though Embry is never crying or even awake, it's like I just know when to get up and that's what I do. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

Here's a rundown of the week:

Friday and Saturday: pretty much covered in the last post
Sunday: my mom stopped by to see Embry. Embry was all fussified which stressed me out because when others are around and she cries (which seriously she hardly ever does) then I think they are thinking I'm a bad mom. I fed her and she was fine once again. My mom and I went to Costco to get the film developed and pick up some stuff for Tony's mom to make Spaghetti. Embry much better on Sunday night than she had on Saturday night...very helpful. Also, Tony was extremely attentive that night, he didn't call me 'sir' or 'maam'!
Monday: Tony's mom and sis left around noon and my family (hehe) went to Costco to pick up the film. We met Tony's friend Clint in the Costco parking lot so he could meet Embry. The photo tech didn't mention anything about 'graphic' pictures being on my rolls of film and then I looked at them in the car and none of them show anything bad at all. The issue is that in every picture of Embry right when she came out, my parent's camera was focused on Tony's back instead of the baby, so the baby is blurry in all of them. I had some good pictures on my roll of the 3 of us outside, but I have yet to scan them all into my computer. We also stopped at Michael's where I figured out that the easiest way to put Embry's foot prints onto Tony's pink shirt would be to get some iron-on transfer sheets, scan the ink prints they gave us at the hospital, and then print them onto the transfer sheet and iron them onto the shirt. Apparently there is no ink that is permanent, so it would never work to ink her hands or feet and put them onto a shirt...unless you never washed the shirt again. Deb also stopped by on Monday to see Embry and drop off a delicious beef pot roast (and I even ate and liked the cooked carrots, I'm a big girl). Thanks Deb! Jamie arrived around 7:30 from Phoenix and got to meet Embry and we chatted.
Tuesday: Jamie, Tony, Embry, and I went to MOPS where I showed Embry off to all the ladies for about 15 minutes before we had to leave. We were going to go to Ihop to get breakfast but decided we didn't have time, so we went to Sonic instead which was quite nice because we got to eat outside. Then at 11am Embry had her first dr appt. I was supposed to wait till she was a week old to have the doctor see her again, but I had been a little concerned with jaundice, so we took her in early. The dr said she wasn't jaundiced at all and he wasn't even going to do a billirubin screen. He said she checked out fine in all other areas as well. She weighed 6lbs 10oz, was 20.25 inches long, and her head circumference was 34.5 cm. She was very upset about the rectal temperature and she peed on the scale. I asked my dr about putting hydrocortisone cream on my stitches (which they told me to do at the hospital) and he said that would impede the healing and it's never good to put steroids on an open wound...good to know, a little late though since I had already been putting it on. Embry goes back in 2 months for her next check up and I'm sure she'll be even more upset at that one since she'll be getting shots. Tony's mom and brother Alex arrived at our house while we were gone. Dorothea brought along 3 framed Ansel Adams prints that she had gotten from her boss which are AMAZING! One of them is actually my favorite Ansel Adams print, so that was really sweet of her and I'm hoping to get them hung up this weekend. Tony and I took Embry on a walk around the block and she slept the whole time, but I'm really enjoying this lovely weather. We took Embry and Jamie over to the other young marrieds group for their 1/2 hour of social time between 7-7:30. She was fine for a little bit, but then realized mom didn't feed her when she was supposed to (I thought she'd be comatose from the car ride) and then she started doing 'the freak out.' So we changed her and then came back home where Tony's mom had made some delicious steak curry with rice for dinner.
Wednesday: We got to sleep in a little bit and I got in some much loved morning cuddle time with my baby and husband...ahhh, one of my new favorite things! It's going to be so sad when Tony goes back to work on Dec 1 because I'll be missing one of my cuddle partners :( Anyhow, Tony's mom made us some breakfast and we got dressed up for some family pictures. After those were done, Jamie left and Alex did some yard work to help us out. Then we watched part of 'V for Vendetta' and Dorothea and Alex headed back to Phoenix. Kim stopped by in the afternoon with Haley and we got some cute pics of Haley and Embry on the floor together. It was so cute to see them together because they were so interested in each other. They're going to be best friends! At 6:30 we went to our young marrieds group, ate some delicious enchiladas (thanks Danielle), and people got to meet Embry. She's sleeping and nursing like a champ, I am so blessed that everything is going so incredibly well.
Thursday: I had a rheumatology appt at 2:30 and I had a million errands to run. I was telling Tony and he said, 'why can't I run the errands?' and I said, 'Well I guess you could, but you wouldn't want to' and he still insisted that he do them and I hang out with Embry at home. It was so sweet, I'm lucky to have Tony for a husband. :) I planned on taking some artsy pics before we left, but that didn't happen...always seem to be running out of time lately! We took 2 cars and I went to my appt and Tony took Embry to get a heel stick done to do her second genetic diseases screening. Tony said she cried for a little while and then she was fine. At my appt I got 2 steroid injections in the opposite hip/shoulder as I had done last time. The plan is to get 2 shots every 3 months alternating the hip/shoulder each time, so life should be a smidge easier from here on out in that regard...yay, thanks God! Then I met Tony and took Embry with me. We went to Michaels where I got this huge silver sparkly bow to use at Embry's first photo session at Sears scheduled for Friday. Some ladies behind me in line were asking how old she was and saying how cute she was, so I told them she was 6 days old and they told me how great I looked for just having a baby. It was really sweet and I've gotten that comment quite a bit over the past week, I don't say it to boast or whatever, but it's really nice to hear things like that when you feel like your belly is a bowl full of jelly. BTW, I'm changing my name from Pregnantrice to Flabbytrice hehe, jk, seriously if you call me that, I'll kill you. Moving on...we then stopped at the library, then Target, then headed home. Herb and Katie stopped by to meet Embry at 6:30 and brought over some delicious salad, garlic bread, and garlicy pesto pasta. Thanks Katie! I'm throroughly enjoying this whole people making me food thing, I love food, and I love it even more when I don't have to make it or clean up afterwards! Woohoo! Before going to bed I got a horrible migraine. It was not like my others because it got really bad really fast and just hit me like a truck. I think I scared the crud out of Tony because I gasped at the sudden pain and by the time he walked over to me there were tears streaming down my was not fun. So I took some extra pain meds and after a while it was better and then pretty much gone this morning. Luckily Embry is such a good baby otherwise I'm sure my head would have felt a lot worse.
Friday: Today Embry is one week old. I don't know where the time has gone (well apparently I do cuz I just wrote about it, but you know what I mean). She's the cutest little girl and I'm still amazed that she's all mine and I just get to kiss her all day long and breath in her beatiful baby scent...ahhh, it's the greatest thing I've ever experienced, I can't get over it. We had a photo appt scheduled at Sears for noon and then when we were halfway there, I realized I had forgotten the bow (see Thursday) so we quick stopped at Michael's and I bought another one. We ended up getting there about 3 minutes early anyhow, so that worked out just fine. We got Embry naked and set her on top of her diaper on the big furry blanket she was going to have her pic taken on, then she projectile poos all over the white furry fabric...I expressed to her that it was unacceptable behavior and then apologized like a million times to the workers there. Yikes, embarrassing, but what can be done? Babies poo and that's all there is to it. They were extremely understanding, so I didn't feel too bad about it. She was really good for the most part. Kind of fussy sometimes, but we got a bunch of really great shots! She's sooooo cute! Somewhere in the midst of the picture taking we realized that her umbilical cord stump was hanging there by one gooey thread. The photo girl went and got us some band aids and I just suck it back on there cuz I was worried about pulling it I'm not sure what to do with it. Anyhow, we ordered the package of her naked and wearing the bow with a tag that says 'A Gift From God' and then got an 8x10 of her top half naked with Tony's hand and my hands holding her. There were 2 pics of the 3 of us that I really liked as well, but the sheets were $28 each and that adds up REALLY fast! The pictures will be back on Dec 8th, good thing I made an appt when I did cuz that's almost too late to send out Christmas cards! The pics should be online within 48 hours so if you want to see them then let me know and I'll email the info to you (it has to be done through their site otherwise I'd post a link on here). We are going to go to Target to get a family picture done sometime next week and hopefully that will turn out good enough that I won't feel the need to go back and buy more from Sears. During this whole thing my stitches really started hurting. They'd been kind of stinging for a few days but it got quite a bit worse. So when we got home I called my OB's office and they said I should go to urgent care (yeh not doing that) and I asked them if I should be using the lidocaine spray that they gave me at the hospital to spray on it (to cool it and stop the stinging) and they said not to use that at all...once again conflicting information from what I was told at that hospital. So I've decided to take it easy and see if it improves over the weekend and if not then call them asap on Monday morning to go in and have it looked at. Of course if it gets worse, I will go to urgent care, but I hate that place! Now we've just been hanging out since we got home and it's great!

So the weight thing...when I went to get induced I was 166lbs and when I got home from the hospital I was 155, so I lost 11 lbs with the delivery which is pretty average. Now I'm 150, so that's 16 lbs gone so far, woohoo! 15 more and I'll be at my pre-pre-pregnancy weight. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pictures from Facebook

Here are the links to the photo albums on facebook thus far for those that don't have facebook, now you can see just how cute Embry is! :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Moving to Recovery & Going Home

I'm a bit overwhelmed in making this post because there is so much to say and that's why I've been putting it off for so long, but that would mean there's even more to say...bah, it's a vicious cycle!

So after the last post we hung out in the birthing room for about 3 hours before we were moved to the recovery room. During that time, Maryann took out my epidural catheter which was taped to my would have been fine but apparently my back is covered with a layer of blonde hair and man, was that shocking to have ripped off! I think I told her that it hurt more than the whole labor and delivery :) While we were in the birthing room, Maryann gave Embry her first bath and washed her hair and spiked it up in a little cute! I also got to try breastfeeding for the first time which went extremely well. Embry latched on really well and ate for about a half hour, so that was a huge blessing. So after sitting for 2 hours and eating a meal in a box (sandwich, applesauce, etc) and drinking about 12 glasses of various beverages (water, milk, juice) [side note: you would not believe how incredibly thirsty you get while pushing out a kid, never thought I'd be that thirsty in my life] it was time to stand up and see if I could go potty. So Maryann came over to help me stand up and walk to the bathroom, which was fine, just felt like my legs were numb. It was ok to stand, but when you take steps you can't really bend your legs because it's hard to put them back straight, it was weird. So get to the toilet, sit down, then feel the overwhelming need to throw up. I thought 'goodness gracious, are you serious, this is ridiculous.' If you know me, you know I hate throwing up more than almost anything. So I was like, 'Maryann, can you hand me the garbage can?' and she was really confused but then it clicked and she gave it me to me and bam, there went my big meal and 12 glasses of liquid. I still think eating and drinking was worth it though, so oh well...maybe next time I will just try to eat and drink in moderation instead of going to town like I did. Then I got in a wheelchair and she took us up to the third floor to our recovery room. We ended up getting up there at about 4:30 am on Friday the 14th. Needless to say, I was a little tired. I got to sleep until about 7am when Dr. Morris (our primary care physician and Embry's pediatrician) stopped by to check her out. I was very glad to see him since I had told him before I was going to TMC and he doesn't go to TMC to check his babies, only to St. Joes, so I was hoping the message would have been relayed that we were at St Joes. Anyhow, he was very nice and asked about me and how everything went etc and also said that Embry was completely adorable...naturally I think so, but it's nice to hear other people say it too! :) She checked out completely fine and Dr. Morris left about 20 minutes later. I think I fed Embry at that point, then went back to sleep until about 8:30 when my breakfast arrived. I was assuming the meals were standand nasty hospital food, but I lifted the lid on my meal and it was like heaven! It was a real meal, like yummy and delicious, sooo nice after giving birth to have a hot meal. Tony and I usually split whatever meal I had and this one happened to be a ham and cheese croissant sandwhich...mmm. So all in all, the first night I got about 3 hours of sleep and Tony got about 6 hours. That day we pretty much just hung out in our recovery room and learned all about our little girl. I kept saying (and still keep saying) to Tony how completely amazing it is that this real live person was actually inside of my body. I mean, it's really the most miraculous thing I can imagine happening and I am so incredibly greatful for this gift. I can't think of anything better in the whole world than becoming a mom...and of course, now I'm crying! I can't say enough to make anyone realize how amazingly wonderful it all is, it's beyond words, the only way to know is to actually experience it yourself. I'd highly recommend it :)

So enough of that mushy stuff! I got to take a shower, which was refreshing yet odd. Not exactly painful, but a bit difficult to stand up that long and not a good experience to sit on the hard shower seat...sooo it was interesting. Apparently while I was in the bathroom my OB (Dr Sherman) stopped by to check on me, I was a little disappointed that I missed her. Not only did I want to see her and ask her some questions, but I really wanted to rub it in once again that I was right and she was wrong, I WIN! Both Tony and I got to take a nap that day which was much needed. At 11am Missy stopped by and brought me a present which was a hello kitty kite (perfect, seriously, I've been wanting a kite so bad), a hello kitty coin bank where when you stick a coin in it makes a magic wand noise, a Cranium game called 'Creative Cat' (it's a running joke between us after a HILARIOUS new years eve game of Cranium about 5 years ago...Kristy you might remember what I'm talking about), and a Hello Kitty magnet frame. I was glad that she got to visit for a little while so we could chat and catch up. Then the rest of the visitors started showing up around 4:30. The first were David and Sarah, then Jason and EvaMarie, then Scott and Janell, and then Mark and Rachael who brought us some delic frozen yogurt (thanks guys!). Then around 11pm Dorothea and Allison arrived in Tucson and luckily the nurse let them come up to our room for a quick visit before they headed to our house for the night. Embry got to meet her grandma and auntie and we got to take some cute pics. I was saddened when it got to 12:19am and Embry's first day of life was officially over. It's killing me that every moment that passes is another one I will never get back because I just want it all to last forever! Anyhow, it was really great to see everyone and it made me feel really special that so many people cared about seeing my little girl :) Another thing that literally makes me tear up is the massive response I got while I was in the hospital and now that we're home in emails and on facebook from people who want to either tell me how cute Embry is or just check to see how we're really means so much to me, thank you all for being such good friends.

Gosh darn, let's see if I can write one paragraph without getting all mushified! The second night in the hospital went just fine. I tried to feed every 3-5 hours which worked out, but I mainly would just let Embry tell me when she was hungry again instead of waking her up on a schedule. The nurses didn't mind at all as long as she got fed before the 5 hour mark and she was producing enough wet and poopy diapers (which believe me, she was). So that night I got about 5 hours of sleep and at one point around 1:30 am Embry was fussing and didn't want to eat when a nurse from the nursery came in and said they were going to run some standard tests on her.
She saw that Embry was not happy and said, 'after we're done with the tests would you like us to just keep her over there for a little bit to make sure you get some sleep?' so I responded, 'umm, sure! Sounds great!' They returned her at about 3:30 and she was ready to eat. I was awoken at about 8:30 when a nurse wanted to check me and planned on going back to sleep, but when I got out of the bathroom Tony was awake and my breakfast had arrived, so the day had begun. A lactation consultant stopped by just to make sure everything was going ok. I did have a small amount of bruising and it turns out Embry wasn't opening her mouth quite as wide as she should have been, so the LC gave me tips on how to fix that and also showed me how to magically get colostrum to come out (which I'd tried a million times before, but she must have magic fingers or something cuz she definitely didn't have trouble finding any). Also a photographer for the online nursery pics came by and took some pics of Embry. This experience was quite horrible in my opinion. Basically Embry was not in the mood for pics (I think she wanted to eat right then) and so it was her either crying or having a pacifier in her mouth...neither of which are good for pics. It drove me NUTS that the photographer kept calling Embry 'mama' too. I seriously don't get that expression, like hello, she's not a mama. I kept wanting to yell 'I'm the mama, not her, she's the baby, I'm the mama!' but I refrained. If anyone can explain why you call a baby 'mama' please do, I would really like to understand. Then at the end of all the fuss, the pics pretty much were not any good anyhow and you can judge for yourself by going to this site and searching for me. Tony's mom and sister arrived around 11am (I think) and we waited around to be discharged. A sub for the pediatrician came to check Embry and thought she was a tinge yellow so ran a billirubin screen which came back at 7.5 and it's spos to be under 18, so that was good. Also a sub for Dr. Sherman stopped by (gotta say I'm glad he didn't deliver my baby, totally lacking in people skills) to check me out. He didn't actually do any checking, just asked how I was feeling and gave me the 2 scripts that Dr. Sherman had written out for me. I even asked him some questions to which he gave really lacking responses, so I'll be calling Dr Sherman tomorrow to get some answers. I think next time i have a baby I might stay for the whole 48 hours because I really wasn't having a good time walking around and esp going up the stairs at home, so I think the extra time to recover would have been nice. When we left the hospital, I was wheeled past the Physical therapy office and I wondered aloud if Diane (my PT) was there and then we look in the window and she's right there on the phone, so I start waving frantically and she does the same. Tony held up Embry for her to see, but we just kept walking out to the car. Then we get outside and she comes running out to see us. She asked how I was feeling etc and got to see little Embry up close, it was really nice to see her before we left. All the stuff was put into the car and I sat in back with Embry while Tony drove us home. She was such a good traveler and she slept the whole way. Hopefully this keeps up because it would be fantastic if she will travel in the same fashion on our trip to Maryland. Let's all pray about that one!

When we got home I set up the tripod outside to take pics of the 3 of us in front of the house since Tony's mom and sis had taken my prescriptions to Walgreens to get them filled. Then we went inside and we had balloons, flowers, a card, and a stuffed doggy waiting for us from Tony's mom and sis. It was so cute! I was pretty much exhausted, but we took some pics and I video taped Tony as he went around the entire house and explained everything to Embry, it was so cute, especially since she was completely asleep for the whole thing...he's a good daddy. Tony and I caught up on some TV while I held Embry and Tony massaged my legs/feet. On a side note, I wasn't aware that this happened, but I still have parts of my body that are numb from the epidural. It's not anything at all, but it's just a weird side effect and it's slowly getting better. Although I don't have good circulation anyway, so maybe it's just me. Moving along, Tony's mom went to the store to get supplies and she made us a wonderful steak dinner, it was delicious! Right before that, Tony and I got a little nap time in, also great. I fiddled around online for a while and then went to bed. Last night was a whole new experience for me. We put the playyard in our room for embry to sleep in and I was up with her from the time I went in there until about 3:30 am because she was just fussing up a storm! She didn't need changing, she didn't need feeding, she wasn't cold, nothing...just cranky. From talking with others it seems this first night at home thing goes bad more often than not because they aren't used to the different surroundings and feel the need to cry about it. So at about 3:30 I was like, well I really need to go to the bathroom, so I'm gonna and then Tony can get up and take care of Embry when she's crying. So I'm in there doing my thing and she is screaming and not stopping. Finally when I'm done I go out there and she's still in the playyard just wailing away and Tony is still in the bed sound asleep. Needless to say, I was a little upset. So I go over to Tony and shake him rather violently and he sits up and with really wide eyes goes, "Sir?! Sir?! Maam?!" and I go, "can't you hear that?!" and he responds with "sorry" and lays down and goes back to sleep. I was sooooooo mad, you have nooooo idea (but it is really quite funny looking back). I go check on Embry and she has a poopy diaper. Then I go to the other side of Tony and shake him, he looks at me, I say "who am I?" and he says, "you're Leatrice" and I say, "good. Go change Embry's diaper." He actually gets up this time (making progress is always a good thing) and then goes to Embry and stands there and looks at her. I say, 'you're changing her diaper' he responds 'right' and then proceeds to change the diaper. Then I nursed her and after that all was well again. It scares me to think that a) he sleeps so soundly that he can't hear his daughter screaming at the foot of the bed and b) that he can look right at me, talk to me, and have no idea what is going on because he's still asleep. Anyhow, we're gonna have to do something about this cuz if that happens again I might just fly off the handle...time to go see the doctor.

I woke up around 9 am, as did Tony, and I cuddled in bed with Embry for about a half hour which was incredibly fantastic. Tony and his mom then went to get some extra food for breakfast, came back, and Tony's mom made us eggs, bacon, and biscuits. Then we watched the video from my video camera of our hospital stay and everything afterwards. I'm really glad that I documented things while they were going on because looking back I can barely remember half of what happened, it's weird. Then I took a shower, did my hair and my makeup, and then my mom arrived. We took some pictures outside with Embry and then I showed her all the pics on my computer and then she and I went to Costco to drop off our 2 rolls of film. I'm a little worried about what is on those rolls because I'm thinking whoever develops them is going to get quite an eyefull when the pictures of the delivery come around. I believe I specifically said not to get my 'area' in the pics (or you know, do your best) but considering the placement of the baby and the cord etc, I'm pretty sure my stuff will be clearly visible...woops! Oh well, I'm sure the photo techs have seen worse than that before, it's not like it was done on purpose. Speaking of that, I have some pics (from my digi cam) that I want to post of cutting the cord and putting Embry on my chest etc but I need to do some serious photoshop editing before those are seen by the outside world! If you knew what they looked like, you would definitely thank me. Anyhow, it was nice to get out of the house with my mom and have time to chat with her. I'll be going back tomorrow to pick up the pictures and I seriously am afraid that they're going to say they had to confiscate some of the pics cuz of nudity or at least mention how inappropriate it was, but really that would be incredibly unlikely right? I also want to go to michael's to see if I can find a permanent ink pad that won't wash off of clothing to do prints of Embry's feet onto a pink shirt we bought Tony for him to wear back his first day of work. They would have stamped it at the hospital but their ink is washable so it would have just washed off. I also really need a pair of infant nail clippers cuz Embry's nails are super long and I'm extremely paranoid about her scratching her face...not good for pictures. So Tony's mom made us Spaghetti tonight for dinner and it was really yummy. Embry decided it would be a good time to go poo poo so I didn't exactly get to eat with everyone, but that was ok, she's cute so I forgive her.

Other interesting facts...the recovery is going really well. If I don't take the percocet then I have massive joint and muscle pain, but with the meds it's good, so no complaints there. Today my milk came in which makes me very happy because now I know Embry is actually getting food in her little tummy. I had my first post baby poo and it went surprisingly well, so yay for that fear not coming true! :) I could go on for hours about how amazing it is being a mother, but there are no words that would make anyone understand this overwhelming joy. Just know that it is the single greatest feeling I've ever had and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Embry Reagan is here!

We've found out I was 10cm after having a lot of back pain at 9:36pm. So we started pushing around 9:45pm. Most of the time Tony was holding my left leg and Anna was holding my right leg. Our lovely nurse figured out a way to get all five visitors in the room for the birth: my Mom, Dad, Anna, Kim, and of course Tony.

After a little bit of pushing Embry's heart rate was low during contractions. So Maryann called Dr. Sherman over, which was good because we had a scare where her heart rate was in the 60s. I continued to push until 11pm, when we started to see the head coming out. Dr. Sherman had planned on using the vacuum to help Embry come out, but around 12am the doctor and staff got the room ready for my delivery and Embry was born at 12:19am on the 14th of November, without the vacuum... Woohoo!

So, she came out and put on my chest right away, all slimealicious. Tony cut the cord, then she was moved to the warmer where she got all fixed up and received apgars 8 and 9. Then she was weighed at 6lbs 13oz and 19 1/2 inches long (my guess was 6lbs 9oz). This was no 8lbs baby. Then she was wrapped like a burrito and given back to her momma. While she was getting fixed up they pushed out my placenta, sewed up a small tear, and removed some moles. Then they pressed down on my uterus quite a bit to make sure it was contracting down and to expel a bunch of yukiness. After they gave her back to me then Tony held her, then my Mom, Dad, Kim, and Anna. We got lots of pictures. We also got pictures of nurse Maryann with her and Dr. Sherman.

She came out with a full head of dark brown hair, her mothers chin, her daddy's dimples, and big wide opened eyes. She's been very alert so far. And she's the cutest thing in the whole wide world, I love her into a millliion pieces and it was worth every second. We're now just hanging out, she's going to get a bath soon and we will be moved up to the recovery room where hopefully get some sleep. Thanks for all the well wishes and we'll keep updating the blog periodically. Pictures will be on Facebook.

Fully dilated

No time to give a full update. Getting ready to PUSH!

The Doctor Checked Again

At 5pm Dr. Sherman stopped by, after delivering scary baby next door. She checked me and said that I was 4cm and 80-90% effaced and still at -1 position. Then she said that she thought my baby was too big to fit through my pelvis, and that I should consider a c-section. I said "no thank you," and expressed that I really didn't think my baby was that big. She said I could get checked again at 8pm and see if I made any progress. If not then she would highly recommend getting a c-section.

In between that check and the 8pm check I checked with my new nurse, Maryann, about various parts of a c-section and recovery etc. etc. Kim came to visit and brought me cute elephants. Well I guess they're really for Embry, but, whatever. Anna came by right before 8pm and Maryann checked me at 8 and exclaimed "Yes!" and said that I was 6cm dilated and that was really good. She then moved me on to my right side, but lost the baby's heart beat in the process. So another nurse came in and inserted a scalple heart monitor onto the baby's head. Now it sounds like we have a vigorous game of pong being played in the room. When the other nurse checked me she said that I was definitely between the 0 and +1 position. So everyone was extremely excited. Maryann talked to Dr. Sherman on the phone and Dr. Sherman would like me to prove her wrong about the c-section and so that is what I would like to do thank you very much. Go baby go!

Maryann is setting up the table and a mirror so I can see all the stuff.

Checked Again

Dr. Sherman just stopped by at 4pm and checked me again. She said that I'm just a little over 3cm but not much and 75% effaced. So they are upping my pitocin and having me switch from side to side every once in a while. I'm still pretty much pain free but the fact that my hair is matting behind my head without being able to brush it very easily is driving me crazy. Tony tried to pull me into a more sitting position earlier so I could brush my hair and then my blood pressure cuff started going crazy, so we might try that again once we build up the courage.

Dr Sherman also said she thinks it's a big baby from feeling my belly, so I poked and prodded till I got her to say what she would consider "big" and she ended up saying maybe she could be close to 8 lbs. I said, no, I'm thinking more like 6lbs 10oz...let's try to think positively people!

Anyhow, doesn't look like I'll be delivering anytime soon, but who knows. Anything can happen!


I was checked at like.. 1:00, and I was dilated 3cm. The baby has move down some and they could feel her head. At one point the baby's heart rate slowed down to 60bpm and they moved me to my other side, gave me some oxygen, and stopped the pitocin. Embry's heart rate went back up to normal and has been fine since. They started the pitocin again at half the dosage.

My parents are here and we're watching Days of Our Lives. Also, I got a popsicle and some juice, which was nice.

Dr Sherman's Visit

Dr. Sherman stopped by at 11:40 and broke my water. It was clear fluid, so no meconium, no poopy baby, yay! Then she checked me and said I was 3 cm dilated!!! Yahoo!!! I kinda thought I might forever be stuck at 1 cm and it's FANTASTIC that I've made progress, yipee! She also inserted a intrauterine contraction monitor in order to get an idea of the strength of the contractions as well as more info about their timing, spacing, etc. So, the pitocin is definitely working because the monitor shows that my contractions are stronger and about 1-2 minutes apart. My parents are in town and should be here in about an hour, till then I'm gonna start watching 'The Holiday' it always makes me so happy :)

Epidural and Pitocin

Well, at about 6:50 my contractions went from "uncomfortable" to what I'd describe as painful, and I don't use that term lightly. The cramping started and I was lying on my right side, which might have been a bad idea since that's the side that Embry's entire body is on. Yeh, I was not having a good time. The anesthesiologist was doing a c-section at 7:30 so he wouldn't be free until 8:30 for an epidural, so then I started asking about IV narcotics (which I have on my birth plan that I don't want). I decided to go to the bathroom and then flip to my left side to see how that worked, well it worked quite well. The contractions were still present and cramping but not nearly as bad and I even got in a few more minutes of sleep time. At 9:15 the anesthesiologist came in (of course while I was in the bathroom) and set up for the epidural. It was administered at 9:20 and I have to say I was scared out of my mind. I've heard a million different things about epidurals and a lot of them not good as far as the pain of receiving one, so basically I was shaking pretty bad and just praying and trying to calm myself down so I wouldn't move while he was placing it. Tony held my hand and I rested my head on his while the nurse (who is a different nurse now, her name is Beth, she's also very nice) pressed down on my shoulders. I had wanted to lay down while he inserted it instead of sitting up, but he said it was safer for him to do if I was sitting, so I said, well that will be the way to do it then! Anyhow, after he cleaned off my back, he pressed my spine with his fingers to find the best spot. Then he gave me a shot of lidocaine which basically was about as painful as getting a flu shot. Basically it felt like a tiny pinch and then a bit of stinging/burning but nothing intense and it lasted for about 5 seconds total. Then he inserted the super needle which is the part I was worried about and honestly, I can't even say that it hurt! I'd say it felt like a tiny bit of stinging and a little pressure, but seriously, it was virtually nothing. Then he threaded the catheter through, didn't even feel that part, then removed the needle, once again didn't really feel it and then he taped it all to my back. I was bleeding a smidge from the injection site so he applied some pressure afterwards with his hand, no big deal, like holding gauze on the spot where you get blood drawn. Soooo...that's my epidural story and the point of it all is, do not be afraid of getting one, it was a great experience for me and I feel great now.

Then Beth started the pitocin and apparently I'm having contractions between 3-5 minutes apart, but you could have fooled me cuz I can't feel any pain from my belly button on down. Also this has helped A LOT with the pain associated with being checked. Beth checked me after I got the epi and said I was a 'very loose' 1 cm and my cervix has definitely moved down. Up until this check I had previously had to make my hands into fists and put them under my hips in order for whoever was checking me to reach the cervix, I didn't have to do that this last time and she didn't have any trouble feeling it, so that's great. :)

Dr. Sherman is apparently over at TMC doing something and will be over when she's done at which point she will break my water and check me again. From this point on, the pitocin dose gets increased every 15 minutes. I asked Beth if she thought I would be having a baby before 4 pm and she said probably not. Soooo, I hope for anyone who plans on visiting today after work that I will have popped out a kid by then, otherwise it won't be very exciting for people to come all the way here just to see me sitting in a bed with a bunch of tubes taped to my extremeties. So I'll update again once the dr gets here, otherwise, all is well and I love medicine. :) Thanks God for inventing the epidural, I love you.

Third round of gel

Hmm.... the third round of gel was administered at 5:40am. After Melinda checked me again and found that I am pretty much the same, although I am contracting a lot more. Being checked is becoming very unpleasant. Apparently the gel makes your cervix very sensitive, and the more you get the more sensitive it becomes. So pretty much the whole time she's checking me I'm trying to push myself backwards away from her. Now I have this fantastic ice pack, and it's helping alot.

She started the IV fluids, which are basically for hydration purposes, and drew a bunch of blood. She tried my right arm first, but couldn't get the catheter through the valve. So she moved on to the left arm and that one seemed to work fine.

The contractions are not pleasant but don't feel much worse than a moderate back ache. I think that from the bed being so hard I'm also feeling joint pain. So I might be confusing that with contraction pain. They'll check me again at 9:40, and hopefully start the epidural and petocin at that point.

Oh, and I asked Melinda what percentage of women poo while giving birth, and she said about 20%. She tries not to mention it if they are because they focus more on the fact that their pooping then trying to push the baby out. Just an FYI.

So Far, So Good

The first dose of gel was administered at 9:40 pm. After it got a chance to start working, I was contracting about every 2-5 minutes pretty consistently. I would describe the contractions as uncomfortable but not exactly painful. It basically feels like tightening and pressure, I wouldn't say it's really a cramping feeling but maybe that will come later. At 1 am Melinda came in and started monitoring me again. The blood pressure cuff was having definite issues as it would fill up all the way, then let a little air out, then fill up more than it had the first time and over and over again till it felt like my arm was going to fall off at the elbow. We got this issue fixed when she put the cuff on my other arm, then it seemed to work ok. My bp and Embry's heart rate are still good. The thing that is not so great is that this bed is hard as a rock. Is that really nice to do to someone who's about to give birth? No, I think not.

So, after being monitored for 20 minutes, Melinda checked me again and booyah...instead of my cervix being completely posterior (aka really high) it was inbetween that and anterior (low) so it was a much more pleasant experience this time! She said I'm a good solid 1 cm dilated and she gave me the second dose of gel at 1:40 am. I was then monitored for another hour in which my contractions still fairly consistent. She is coming back to check me and start my IV fluids at 5am. If my cervix still needs help then I'll get another dose of gel before they start the pitocin and my epidural, if not then they'll do both of those things at that point. Apparently I won't be checked once the pitocin is started until Dr. Sherman comes in which is 'sometime in the morning' ... very specific. She may or may not break my water when she checks me, so we'll see how that goes. Ok, that's all for now, I'm going to go brush my hair and try to go to sleep. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We've been admitted

So... we arrived at the hospital at 4:30pm, after realizing that I may, or may not have turned off my curling iron. We walk into the women's center, give the receptionist my name, who calls the charge nurse who says that I'm not down for induction until 9:00pm. I say "Well, my doctor definitely told me 5:00pm." The receptionist lets me talk to the charge nurse on the phone, and she says that there is no one who could take me back right then so I should come back at 9:00.

We left and went home. Naturally I had already unplugged the curling iron. We decided to get something to eat, so we went to the Olive Garden. We got soup, pizza, and bread sticks. It was delic. Then we went to Park Mall to kill some more time. Their Christmas decorations were up and it was fantastic. And finally we arrived back at the hospital at 8:30pm.

We went back to Labor and Delivery where the nurse informed us that I had almost been re-scheduled because apparently it's very busy today. But I'm glad that was not the case. We got shown to our delivery room, which is room 1118 and I got changed into the hospital gown Tony's Aunt made me. The nurse who showed us in was very blunt (which naturally I enjoy) and she told me that during the actual delivery I would not want to be in the pretty hospital gown because 'any bodily fluid that can come out of a person will come out of a pregnant lady' and she also went on to name a bunch of the fluids she was talking about, good stuff. So looks like I'll be putting on the icky hospital gown at around 5am when they give me the epidural and start the pitocin.

Our nurse, named Melinda, is very nice and came in to ask a bunch of questions and do paperwork. She checked me and said that I'm still 1cm, 50% effaced, and -1 position but it could possibly be considered -2 since my cervix is soooo posterior. She emphasised how far back my cervix is and explained that my pelvis is extremely tight...these two things put together don't sound like a fun delivery, boo. She said the P-gel is inserted behind the cervix and it will soften, dilate, and lower the she gave me hope. Then she inserted the gel with a tiny catheter and all that went fine. I was monitored for an hour afterwards and I am having contractions, but irregular and not strong, as usual. Embry's heartrate is doing really well in the 140s-160s and my bp is right around 115/70. The gel could cause contractions, but so far I'm not feeling anything significant.

So the monitors are off now until 1am when they get put back on and Melinda checks me again to see if there is progress and then insert the second dose of gel. I'm hoping my cervix will have at least moved down some because this whole 'checking' thing is getting a little painful. I think that's about all I have to say right now, so I will update later.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Whole Story

I went in for my (almost) 39 week OB appt this morning. Well, when I got my bp checked it was 160/90 so they had me lay on my left side to increase blood flow etc and then checked it again and it was down to 120/60. Then they had me lay on my back and checked it again and it was up to 130/86. Basically it was rather erratic. Then the OB checked me and said I hadn't made any progress since last week, poop on that is what I say! Anyhow, then she goes, well I think you should be induced. I go, 'oh and why do you think that?' So she said that at my last ultrasound my placenta was class 3 which means that it's got lots of calcification and is pretty much done working that combined with my weird bp and having lupus she basically wanted to avoid anything really bad happening if we were to just wait it out. So I told her I wasn't opposed to being induced if she felt it was necessary and if I can get my epidural when they start the pitocin cuz I really don't want to feel pitocin contractions, which she agreed was a good idea. She said with all that's going on it'd be better for me to get my epidural earlier rather than later, sounds good to me! So she went to see when it could get scheduled and it turns out it's very difficult to schedule an induction at TMC (for whatever reason, I don't know) so we're going to St. Joseph's instead. The induction is scheduled for 5pm tomorrow afternoon and she's using prostaglandin gel on me (rather than cytotec or cervadil) which I'm happy about. Then after 12 hours of that, they start the pitocin, so baby Embry should arrive sometime on Thursday definitely after 5am and hopefully no later than Friday morning.

I'll be updating the blog as things get moving along, so keep checking for updates after 5pm tomorrow! We're having a baby, woohoo!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

38 Weeks

Only 13 days left! (I'm hoping it's a lot less than 13 though, maybe more like 1 or 2 hehe)
Main progress for the week is that I got my bag packed, yes that's right, pat on the back for me.

This is going to be a post full of pictures because I have the normal weekly pictures, then pictures from the ultrasound, and 2 pictures I found online to illustrate my current 'progress'.

So here's what happened on Tuesday... around 1 am I started having what I would figure were contractions (being my first time and all, not exactly sure though). It was basically tightening along with cramping and general uncomfortableness. They were about 20 minutes apart and then by 8am about 15 min apart. No big deal, whatever. So as the day progressed they got to about 5-10 minutes apart for a couple of hours straight. Well, I had my weekly OB appt scheduled for 2:40 pm so I figured I'd just go to that, tell her what was going on, get checked and see if I've made some more progress since last week. Then I get to my OB office and she had been called out for a delivery. Since I really wanted to get checked I decided to go to the other office (where I've never been called in less than an hour after my scheduled appt time and since I didn't have an appt this time, I was sure it would be a torturous amount of time before being seen) in order to see the nurse practitioner. I get to that office and tell the receptionist what's going on and that I just want to be checked and then be on my merry way. Well she talked to the NP and the NP said that if the contractions were 5-10 min apart and I'm 38 weeks, then I needed to go to L&D to be monitored. I was like, look, I don't even know if what I'm feeling is actually contractions! For all I know, I could need to go poo or something! So I asked them if they were sure that they couldn't just check me there cuz I was sure it was probably nothing at all. Well, no luck. So I went to L&D where it took 2 hours (which was actually faster in the long run than staying at my OB's office would have been given their track record). The baby's heartrate was around 145 and went up to the 160s during a contraction. When I first got in there, my bp was about 120/72 and then they checked it again before I left and it was 116/56. The nurse didn't seem concerned at all with the drop in the bottom #, so I figured it was nothing. The nurse at the hospital checked me and said that the baby is very low at -1 station (which is great cuz she was still super high last week) and that I was still about 1cm dilated but that she could only feel the tip of my cervix because the rest of it was behind or to the sides of my baby's head (since it was so low) and that I'm about 50% effaced. So, basically all that means that yes I have in fact made progress since last week and I'm not going crazy thinking that there is a baby smashing my bladder because there really is a baby smashing my bladder! Woohoo! Anyhow, after being monitored for 30 minutes or so we determined that I was having contractions although not from labor but most likely from having sex...which I hadn't even thought about surprisingly. The contractions have subsided, at least the cramping part of them, and I'm back to just the regular old braxton hicks again. The nurse said I would probably go all the way to my due date (the 19), but I'm still holding out hope for an earlier delivery. :)

So this leads to the illustrations I found online. It occured to me while explaining 1cm dilated, -1 station, and 50% effaced that it was a little hard for people to picture. This is where the illustrations come into play.Then on Wed we had our 38 week ultrasound. Embry is still adorable and was trying to eat her hand except from the back of her hand instead of the finger side, hehe. The person performing the ultrasound was the same lady we had at the very first ultrasound. She estimated Embry's weight to be about 6lbs 7oz and said it could range anywhere from there to 8lbs. She also said the words, 'jumbo baby' which I still am not sure what she was getting at, but hello, you don't say that to a first time mom who will be delivering within the next 2 weeks! Anyhow, I had always thought Embry would be around 6.5 lbs at delivery, so I'm thinking if she's any bigger than 7.5 lbs then she will be sent directly to the corner to think about what she's done! Her fluid level was good at 9.9 and the US lady scanned over to Embry's head and was like "oh and look at that, there's your bladder" and point at this thing that's like a tiny thin little line that's smashed as flat as a pancake...well that certainly explains a few things! No wonder I've been getting up 5 times a night to pee. She also pointed out that Embry has chubby cheeks, feet, and hands and that she has 'Angelina Jolie lips' so I've since taken to replacing Tony's name with 'Angelina'. I made it very clear that I do not want to deliver a large baby, so the US lady suggested I go on walks, have sex, and eat a garlic oregano pizza. I'm fairly convinced that none of these suggestions actually induce labor, especially the last one, but rather the baby will come out when she's ready no matter what I do in the meantime. Having said that, I actually went for a walk today. Pretty sure all it did was irritate my sciatica though.

Today I had my last women's health physical therapy appointment. I might go back for a follow-up appt sometime after I deliver, but I'm definitely going to miss those massages in the meantime. I'd highly recommend seeing a women's health physical therapist if you are pregnant and experiencing pain, it really is worth it. She gave me a hand out about perineal massage which I guess I should start now to help avoid tearing during delivery. The front of my stomach is still numb, so the PT said Embry's probably still pinching a nerve and it should definitely get better after I deliver.

I'd really like to have my baby now, thanks. I feel ready and I can't imagine going for 2 more weeks (or more heaven forbid) but then again the idea that I'll have a baby at home for Thanksgiving seems completely surreal.

Me after the ultrasound
Little Feet
On the left is looking up her mouth and nose, on the right is her profile and she's trying to eat her hand, she's so cute!
This is a front on view of her faceHer girl parts once againHer cute little profile!

The 38 week belly shots, do make sure to enjoy the extra and more prominent stretch marks!