Thursday, December 31, 2009

What I've learned...so far...

It seems fitting on NYE to make a post about what I've learned this year. However, that would be just way to much so I'll just focus it on what I've learned since Dec 5:) Some is silly, some is practical, and some is well, I'm not sure what to call it. Take it at face value and hopefully it will be helpful to someone.
1) I prefer Pampers over Huggies. Don't know why, they just seem to fit Sophie a teeny bit better. However, if given the choice I'll take Target's generic brand of diapers (Up and Up) over Pampers, b/c of price. They run a bit bigger, but otherwise we've had great luck, and they are cheap-O. Same with Target brand wipes.

2) Dr. B's butt paste works like a charm. Sophie had a small red spot on her bum, I used the butt paste for a day and spot is gone. Can't beat that.

3) Sophie has no problem with nipple confusion. She can go from bottle to pacifer to the real thing with no problem. Thank.goodness.

4) Breast feeding may be natural, but it doesn't come naturally. There is a huge learning curve on the part of both mom AND baby. It's hard, even after you think you have the hang of it. It can be discouraging at times, but also the best feeling in the world when your goal is accomplished:) I've take the advice of "never STOP breastfeeding on a bad day" and so far it has worked.

5) A meltdown (on mom's part) WILL happen. Mine came on the 2nd night home from the hospital. Being in the hospital and caring for your baby really does NOT prepare you for bringing baby home. I can't even tell you about our first night home, other than I remember very little sleep. That night however, PALES in comparison to the 2nd night. The official "high" of bringing Sophia home had worn off and reality set in. I remember being with her in the nursery with the door closed (b/c Dan was sleeping--I'm so nice). My milk hadn't come in yet (didn't until day 5), I felt so guilty b/c I assumed she was starving. In hind sight, she probably wasn't *that* hungry, but I was convinced she was. After breastfeeding going no where, I decided to pump like they had shown me in hospital. There I was,,,sleep deprived...pulling pump out of box at 2 am (never seen it before) and throwing tubing and parts all over the room trying to figure out what went where. I finally figured it out and was thrilled to get what was the equivilant of about .5 oz of milk. Put it in a bottle and gave to her (swore I wouldn't give her bottle). Still hungry. Broke down and gave her pacifer (swore I wouldn't give her pacifier).

6) Don't make rules for yourself. Most likely you'll break them and feel like even more of a failure. See #5 re: bottle feeding and pacifier. Sleep deprivation leads to choices you don't think you'll make. In hindsight, I'm glad I gave both, b/c they have been so helpful to us ever since. I still feel bad about promising those things (to myself) but whatever, I'll get over it in time.

7) You'll learn to see that 8 hours of uninterupted sleep isn't really all that, and that 3 hours at a time will seem like a miracle, and even allow you to be functional:)

8) Babygear (swings and bouncy seats, etc) will be your best friend. Use them (and don't feel guilty).

9) I never knew how much I'd enjoy holding her. Even when Dan offers to take her, or the swing is right there, I usually prefer to hold her. Sleeping, awake, fussy, doesn't matter. I just want to soak it all in.

10) I never knew how much I'd grow to low the 6-7 am feeding/wake-up. For the first few weeks I dreaded this time. To me, it represented the last feeding of the night, which was the icing on the cake of complete exhaustion. Now though, this is her prime awake time, from 6-9 am. After feeding, she is just SO happy, and alert and her eyes are so full of wonder. She has started focusing on faces and I love to just hold her and stare and her and have her stare right back. It really is the best feeling ever. Now, I'm slacking a bit as she is in the bouncy seat next to me (wide awake) watching me type, at 7:30 am, so must go.

Happy New Year:)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My harness baby

Several people have asked to see the harness that Sophie has to wear. Here's a pic from today, officially 3 weeks old. The picture makes it look more akward than it actually is. Plus, she just likes to strike some crazy poses:) I am finally used to it, although it does make diaper changing more difficult (the leg parts have to come off) and wardrobe changes (the whole thing has to come off) VERY difficult. One thing I do like about it though is that it gives her more structure, so she's not such a wiggle worm with her neck flopping all over the place. Wearing it doesn't bother her at all, she simply doesn't know any different thankfully. We go back in 9 days for a 2nd ultrasound to see what progress has been made. I'm hopeful that there WILL be progress.

Merry Christmas!!

So it's been a while. Things have been busy...really busy. Sophia's first Christmas went off without a hitch. She officially overtook me and Dan in the present department:) Here are a few pictures of the holidays. I'll start posting more regularly, I promise! My parents bought us a camcorder so hopefully I'll have some short videos to post soon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

first pedi appt = hip dysplasia

By pedi I mean pediatrician of coure, not Sophie's first mani/pedi:) For the most part, she got a clean bill of health. Interestingly, her height was changed from 20.5 inches to 19.5 inches. The nurse explained that at birth, the height is really just a good guess since they do it so quickly. So 6 days later and it seems like she shrunk an inch.

Weight was down 8.5% from birth weight. When we left the hospital she was down 7%. The doctor asked us to come back for a weight check on Friday. When we did, Sophie had gained 5 oz. Dr thought it was a fluke actually, since she only expected her to gain 2 oz over the two days. So that dilemma was solved.

The bad news is that in Dr. R's initial exam, she felt something "not quite right" in her hip area. She ordered an u/s to check it out. I think Dan and I both left the appt in a sense of denial that something might be wrong. We were just calling it preventative, probably to ease our minds. So Thursday we went to Children's Hospital to get the u/s done. The hospital is just so sad. I have a few friends who spent months there with their preemie babies, and I just don't know how they did it day in and day out. It was hard enough for me to say "We're looking for radiology" without breaking down. We did the u/s and then when we went back for her weight check appt were told by Dr. R that yes, it looked like there was some dysplasia in both hips. Next step was an appt with the Orthopedist at Children's, which we had yesterday.

The second the ortho walked into the office I started sobbing, like yucky, ugly cries. It was just so hard for me to fathom that my perfect little girl was at a specialist office at 9 days old. The good news in the whole thing is that the Dr was actually shocked that Dr. R had picked up the issue. She said the dysplasia is so slight that most pedi's wouldn't have caught it. That made Dan and I both feel better.

The solution (hopefully) is that she is wearing a harness to try to fix the problem. She'll wear it for 3 weeks, 20 hours per day, and then we'll go back for another u/s. Ortho thinks that the problem may fix itself in that short period of time. Once it's fixed, whether in 3 weeks or whenever, she'll then continue to wear the harness for naps/night time sleeping for about 3 months. When the guy came in the office with the harness, I lost it again. (I had managed to calm myself down while ortho explained details). But once I saw it, well...the waterworks started again.

It's easy to use and doesn't seem to hurt her. And I know it's better to catch something like this at 9 days and not 9 months. Ortho reiterated that it shouldn't affect her developmental goals at all. Crawling and walking should occur right on schedule.

So, 11 days old and she's already had 4 dr appts.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sophia Brynn is here!!!

Sorry for the much delayed post, but we've been a bit busy around here:) Sophia was born 12/5/09 at 12:07 PM. She weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.

For those who only want the pics, scroll down. For others who want the details, keep reading. I'll probably keep adding to this also, as I remember more info. It's amazing how Mother Nature can work so quickly to let us forget the "bad" stuff and only hold on to the good. But really, the whole experience was ok.

We left for the hospital about 7:15 and stopped at McD's on the way (fries of course). As we were walking out of our condo, Dan said "let's go have a baby." My waterworks started and I cried, and cried, and cried some more.

We checked in at 8 pm, and by the time we were in a room and the pitocin started it was about 10 pm. The nurse checked me and there had been no progress since last dr appt, still at 3 cms. I didn't feel much for several hours, just the same as what I'd been feeling. It was interesting though to see the contrax on the monitor, b/c alot of them I 1) didn't feel or 2) felt but would never have thought it was a contrax. We were surprisingly able to sleep most of the night. She checked me again and I was 4 cm and 90% effaced. Prior to checking, she told me not to be disappointed if there wasn't much progress. It was hard not to be though, after over 4 hours of pitocin I had hoped for more. About 5 am I woke up to some pretty bad cramps. The nurse had told me to tell her when I got to that point, but being the people pleaser that I am, I wanted to make sure they were "bad" enough. After each one, I thought to myself "oh that wasn't horrible" but looking back they were all really intense. I finally told her about 6 am and she didn't even check me, just told me I was next in line with the anesethioglist for the epidural. I got that about 7 am. I got checked again after that and was at 7 cm and 100% effaced. The nurse told me to tell her when I started having "pressure in your bottom." Again, being the people pleaser, I wanted to make sure the pressure was "enough" prior to bothering her:) It finally got to that point about 10:20. I was checked again and ready to go!!! Wouldn't you know it, Dan had just left to go take a walk. I called his cell and just said "you need to get back here now." He didn't even ask, just hung up on me and was back in 2 minutes. While waiting for him, the nurse had me do a couple practice pushes. I just kept thinking he better get his ass back here, or the nurse better slow this down!

In all, I pushed for about 1.5 hours. We had to stop pushing and wait for dr (yes, I did all this with only the nurse), b/c Sophie's h/r kept decelerating as I pushed. They put oxygen on me, and we waited about 40 min for Dr. S to show. Once Dr. S was there, it was about 30 minutes and Sophie was born! During those final pushes, Dr. S asked Dan if he was going to cut the cord. THis was honestly something we had never discussed. He seemed hesitant but in the end decided to do it. Oh, and I might add...he saw almost the entire birth. All along he had told me he "just wanted a shoulder." But when it came time, curiousity got the better of him and he watched. I, on the other hand, had no interest in that mirror they tried to give to me. No way.

She came out with cord wrapped around her neck, completely silent. I knew she was silent, but something...endorphins maybe...who knows, kept me calm. I just layed there, as Dr. S did whatever she did and finally they put Sophie on my belly. I was just overwhelmed. Speechless. I think it was at least 15 minutes before I even uttered a word. Dan went with her to the warming table and was talking to her constantly, while I just lie there. I had a bazillion thoughts running through my head, but none made it out of my mouth. I finally said "she's beautiful."

I, however, was put through the ringer, thanks to her big head:) I had a 3rd degree episiotomy. It seemed like it took forever for her to sew me up. Thank goodness for meds. In all though, the labor was relatively easy, compared to what it could have been. I would do it again, WITHOUT MEDS, if it meant that Sophie was the prize at the end.

Her first APGAR was 8 and second was 9. She was completely healthy, and born with strawberry blond hair:)

We are utterly amazed by her. She is wonderful in every sense of the word. I didn't think she looked like either of us at first. The day after she was born the hospital photographer came to take some pics, and it was only after viewing those that I realized she looks exactly like Dan. I was almost freaky how much those pics looked like him.

On the day we came home, I cried the second I sat in the wheelchair and the nurse put Sophie (in carseat) on my lap. We had done it, finally done it. In the IF world, most RE's gauge sucess on the idea of a "live birth." I personally hate that term, but it is what it is. There's no real way to sugar coat it. Another term that I also dislike but is very descriptive is "take home baby." As I sat in the wheelchair, all I kept thinking was that we finally had our take-home baby.

I'm writing this 6 days after her birth, and lots more has happened since then, but I'll save those for a different post.

Here are some pics...

Minutes old.

Meeting mommy for the first time.
Ready to go home!

Friday, December 4, 2009

tonight's the night

I can't believe we are almost at the end of this LONG road. And I can't believe tomorrow we will be meeting our little girl. That might be a bit optimistic, as I know others who were induced and it STILL took a few days, but I'm holding on to hope that I'll fall in that 12-14 hour average induction.

I've been doing really well with not being overwhelmed, until last night when Dan said "this is the last night that it is just us. The next time we sleep at home there will be three." HELLO, how had that thought not entered MY mind?? This thought led to another night of tossing and turning. Will we know what to do? Will *I* know what to do? Will people EXPECT me to know what to do?? This entire journey has been very compartmentalized for me. When we were trying to get pregnant, I couldn't think past getting pregnant. I educated myself on HOW to get pregnant (well, at least the options for how I could get pregnant). I didn't give a second thought to what happened after achieving that goal. And then it finally worked for us. And I began to research BEING pregnant and all that entailed. But I couldn't think past weeks, months, trimesters. Now here we are, getting ready to become parents and I am scared to death, b/c I haven't given it alot of thought. I mean, Dan and I are on the same page on how we want to raise Sophia, and what we will do/not do, etc. But the thought of bringing a baby HOME with us??!! Seriously? They are going to trust us to bring her home? That's the part that I'm having a hard time dealing with right now.

And it doesn't help that I just brought the car seat in from the car. Dan wanted a chance to play with it and figure out how it worked. Well, I had a few other things to bring in, so I piled them all in the carseat and marched up our 3 flights of stairs. At the 2nd landing everything fell out, rolling down the stairs, leaving me with an EMPTY car seat. So this is what I question the trust that everyone apparently seems to have in our parenting skills!

Sorry for the rambling...but I obviously needed to get that out:)

I just happened to look back at my post on this date last year. My how things have changed. Dec 4, 2008 I triggered for my 6th IUI, post lap and failed IVF #1 and FET, and pre IVF #2. It's amazing what changes can happen in 365 days.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Full moon tonight!

It was just brought to my attention that there is a full moon tonight. Guess we'll find out if it can indeed help labor along. I just did a quick search and didn't find much in the way of research that confirms the theory. I did, however, find lots of anecdotal snippets from nurses/staff working L & D floors that did confirm busier maternity wards on the night of a full moon.

We'll see...

Otherwise, no change here. Still the same.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

progress (or lack thereof)

As of our OB appt yesterday, no further progress has been made. I'm still 3 cms, I'm still 80% effaced, and her head is STILL right *there."

Must keep repeating mantra that she isn't due until Thursday. We have an induction set for 8 pm Friday should she not make her appearance by then. We're just ready. and done. and that's all there is too it. Hopefully we'll be holding little Miss Sophie by sometime on Saturday:)