Monday, July 16, 2012

1 month old

Elsie is 1 month old today!  I don't have any stats for one month exactly since she doesn't have another doctor's appointment til next month, but here's how she's grown so far:

Birth: 7 lbs. 11 oz.  20.25 inches.
2 weeks:  8 lbs. 6 oz.  21.5 inches.
3 weeks:  9lbs. 11oz.(!!)  21.5 inches.

She is chubbing right up.  Just how I like my babies.  At that rate, she's probably well over 10 lbs. at this point. Possibly sneaking up on 11!

At one month old, she generally just eats and sleeps.  Or sometimes fights sleep.  This girl is the champion of the sleep-for-two-minutes-open-my-eyes-and-realize-stuff-is-happening-without-me-remain-awake-for-hours-more routine.  But I'm sure she'll get over it.  She generally sleeps pretty well between feedings & has fallen pretty easily into a eat every 3 hours or so routine.  Last Friday night, we got a 6-hour stretch out of her!  Yet to be repeated, but hey, I'll take it.

She loves her pacifier.  She loves her big brother (and he is so sweet to her-- calming her, singing to her, stroking her head so gently I can't believe he's only 2!).

She loves when we whistle the theme song for the Andy Griffith show.  I don't even know why I did it the first time, but she smiled when I did, and ever since then, well, let's just say if she's not digging mom's talking to her, then I can whistle a certain tune and almost always get some of these.

We sure do love you, Elsie-boo!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baby Elsie

Well, it's taken me long enough, but I figured it's about time I update the blog with a post about our newest addition!  It's long, so you can skim for pictures :)

Baby Elsie joined us on June 16, 2012-- on my due date, and the day before Father's Day.  I sure hope Justin likes her, because I will admit I didn't do anything else for Father's Day.  I really tried to, but it just didn't happen.  I couldn't find anything he wanted at any stores I went to before Elsie was here, and then I ran out of shopping time & the baby was here.  If you know Justin, he's the last person on earth to care, but I still care and am sort of mad about it.

Anyway, my doctor had told me for weeks that if I started progressing toward labor naturally, he would be happy to induce me, even if it was before I was due.  I was soooo happy.  Elsie's pregnancy was pretty easy, but I had a LOT of hip pain, and at night, I couldn't turn over without my hips cracking and popping really painfully, so I wasn't really getting much rest for the last 3 or so months.  Well, weeks 37 and 38 brought no progress, but finally, at my 39 week appt, I had dilated to a 1 & 80% effaced.  I know, I know-- what a lot of natural progress haha.  But I felt good, because that's how far dilated I was when I went to the hospital for the first time with Bennett... and got sent home. 

Well, my doctor thought it was plenty of progress and basically wanted to get me into the hospital to "stir me up" as soon as I wanted to go (my doctor is a little unorthodox in his terminology).  He suggested Wednesday, but I asked to wait til the next Saturday so that my mom could get here Thursday night and we could get settled Friday.  Plus, if we did it Saturday, Justin didn't have to take a lot of time off work to be in the hospital.  Hooray for planned inductions.  

That whole week it was so weird knowing when we were going to have the baby!  I actually started getting really nervous that things wouldn't go well and I would have to have a c-section.  You know, you hear all those induction horror stories and they make you doubt your doctor and think crazy thoughts.  Well, my friends, specifically female friends of child-bearing age, GO FOR THE INDUCTION.  I would do it a million times over.  I LOVED mine.  Also, the nurse mentioned at one point that if they brought you in to be induced and it didn't work, but your baby was looking good on the monitors, they can just send you home; you don't necessarily have to go straight to the c-section if the induction fails. 

We were scheduled for a 7:30am induction on Saturday, the 16th.  Well, there was a "tsunami of babies" (as my doctor put it) that morning, and so they didn't have a room for us until about 9:45am.  It was pretty boring waiting in a teeny (very poorly lit) room for a couple of hours, but as I saw woman after groaning/moaning woman come in in actual labor while I sat there reading the news and browsing Pinterest, I didn't feel too bad giving up any available rooms to people who were actually in labor.  My doctor was the on-call doctor for the day, so it was nice to know he'd be there all day, no matter how long it took us to get back. 

We finally got back to the room about 10ish and after one failed attempt (OUCH), they got my IV in.  In my left hand.  Not arm.  I have the worst veins, I swear.  Anyway, they got my pitocin going, and we just got to waiting. 

It took them a LONG time (several hours) to get a dosage going that really made anything happen.  I could feel a lot of contractions, but they were just slightly uncomfortable more than anything.  At 2:45 or so, the doctor came in to break my water & get things really going.  At that point, I was still only 2-3 cm dilated.  I asked the doctor if he had any sort of guess as to when we might have the baby, and he thought about it for about 1 millisecond and said, "7 o'clock."  The nurse just laughed-- "he just thinks it's funny to guess then because that's when the shifts change and he thinks it's funny if two of us have to be here."-- and so did we because it had taken so long to get to just 2cm dilated.  I was sure we wouldn't have the baby in just 4 hours. 

But it did the trick.  The contractions got a lot stronger, and I decided to get my epidural around 4 or so.  By 4:45 or so, the epidural was in, but the dosage wasn't high enough, so they had to have the anesthesiologist come back and give me a higher dose.  It took a while for the higher dose to fully kick in, and around 5:20, I asked the nurse to check me again, since they hadn't since they broke my water & I was curious to know how much longer we'd be there.  At 5:30, she checked me and said I was somewhere between a 3 and a 4.  I couldn't believe it!  For real?!  We had been there forever already and I was only at a 3 or a 4? We called my mom and told her that we probably wouldn't have the baby until long after Bennett's bedtime, so to go ahead and just feed him and put him to bed & we'd have to see him the next day.  

Meanwhile, I was thinking my epidural still might not be working.  With every contraction, I couldn't feel pain, per se, but I could just feel a lot of pressure.  When the nurse asked how I was feeling, I said I was fine and that I thought the epidural was still just taking it's time to kick in.  But the pressure kept getting stronger and stronger instead of going away.  I mentioned it casually to the nurse, and she said it was probably a good sign that things were finally moving along.  Well, at about 6:20, I mentioned that I was starting to feel pressure in between the contractions, and the nurse said those were the "magic words" checked me again and was like, "Whoa, yep, you're going to have a baby!!"  We couldn't believe it!! Less than an hour before, I was at a 4, tops, and now suddenly I was having the baby immediately!

Me: "Uhhhh..... the baby's coming now?!"

The nurse started running around the room getting stuff ready, and managed to catch my doctor, who was in between c-sections.  He came in and one of the nurses asked him if he wanted them to get someone else to go & do the second c-section & he said to just tell them to wait for him because he would be done in 10 minutes.  10 MINUTES!?!  Are you kidding me?!

And what do you know, he was right.  I pushed for 3 contractions (and the first one hardly even counts, because I wasn't really pushing because it all happened so fast I was still trying to wrap my head around what I was even supposed to be doing!) and Elsie was here.  It was soooo easy and basically the opposite of my experience with Bennett (contractions every 5 minutes for 3 days, got sent home from the hospital once, tons of pain and misery, pushed for almost an hour).  My doctor is kind of wacky, and as he was holding a brand new baby Elsie & clamping off the cord, he told Justin to hand me the camera so I could take the pictures of him cutting the cord!!  WHAAAAT?!  

Yes folks, these pictures are taken by ME,  while my own baby is still ATTACHED TO MY BODY. 

If they look awkwardly cropped, THEY ARE.  I didn't have the presence of mind to pay attention to what was in the frame.  I was just blindly following  my doctor's orders to take pictures.  The words "Hand the camera to mom!" will forever echo in my brain.

A couple of quick stitches later, and the doctor really did go help with that c-section after all. And it wasn't more than 10 minutes after he had arrived.  Elsie came at 6:38pm-- 22 minutes earlier than my doctor had predicted.  He has a weird sense about this stuff. 

Anyway, there's a positive induction experience for you.  I seriously loved it and would do it every time.  That being said, I have no qualms with drugs or other medical interventions, and I am a planner to the core and loved being able to pick a time to have the baby that worked well for our family. I also trusted my doctor, and he had absolutely no reservations that the induction would be successful, and it was my second baby after a previous successful vaginal delivery.  People say pitocin makes your contractions stronger faster & that it makes inductions miserable, but I didn't think the contractions felt any worse than the non-induced ones I had with Bennett-- if anything, they felt better because I didn't have to experience them for as long.  It was heavenly as far as labor goes.  I actually really enjoyed the whole experience, which sounds crazy because it was labor. But because I was already in the hospital, and could choose to get my epidural whenever I wanted, I felt very in control of the whole thing, like as  soon as the pain was more than I wanted to feel, it could be over.  It was seriously awesome.  So go get induced, my friends. 

Bennett has been nothing but lovely to his sister.  I am amazed.  I really expected the worst, because he is not great with younger kids (loves older kids).  But he is GREAT.  He loves to pat her and says, "it's OK!" in this darling little high voice whenever she cries.  Or he tells her to "shhh, be still."  He is so sweet and gentle with her & loves to help burp her and to hold her & give her hugs and kisses.  Sometimes he isn't thrilled that I have to feed her so often during time that could otherwise be spent reading to/playing with him, but for the most part, he's been really understanding and good about playing independently while I nurse.  

We're really tired (how long is it before they sleep through the night, again? ...), but we're happy.  Recovery has been a breeze compared to Bennett's, though there were still definitely some rough spots, and I was really, REALLY grateful to have my family here to help with Bennett for the first couple weeks.  But now, I feel really good all things considered, and we are getting used to being a family of 4. 

Elsie Lynne Wilson

June 16, 2012.    7 lbs. 11 oz.    20 1/4 inches.

10 fingers, 10 toes.