Wednesday, May 25, 2011

August 24th 2010

Because it’s my birthday and I’m not one to celebrate it – I thought I would finally sit down and write out Emma’s Birthday – apologies in advance for the length but I wanted to make sure I could put down as many details as possible so I can remember it later!

On Friday August 20th, we went to the doctor’s for my 40th week appointment. The visit consisted of a physical check up (not dilated or effaced at all) and monitoring (strong heartbeat but absolutely no contractions). I recorded the sound of her heartbeat on the monitor and hope to save this sound forever. I listen to it every now and then and it makes me smile. My very sweet doctor assured me that even though I was not progressing at all things could change at any minute and not to get worked up about it. We set an appointment for 4 days later for an ultrasound to make sure fluid levels were OK and to talk about options. I was told that 10 days would be the maximum amount of time they would let me go before inducing so this baby would be here before the end of August no matter what. Although I was completely aware of the doctor’s warnings that most first time mother’s go past their due dates, many tears were still shed as we left the doctors office. I distinctly remember the thought I had in my head as the clock ticked to August 21st. I was told that the 20th was the day and the thought that it could still happen at any moment was not comforting to me at all. I spent that last weekend generally being cranky with lots of napping and walking mixed in. Although I could still feel her moving constantly, I still hadn’t felt a single contraction.

Four days later on Tuesday when there was still no baby and it was time to head to the doctor’s again, I was convinced that she would never come out. I sent Larry off to work because I figured there was no reason for him to waste his time there as I was surely going to be just as cranky when we were sent home. I putzed around for the morning and made myself lunch (soup and grilled cheese – no idea why I wanted this in the middle of the summer) before going to my 1:00 doctor’s appointment. “You’re still here?” the receptionist greeted me. I can’t remember but I’m sure I did not smile back. First up was the ultrasound and I watched quietly as the tech did all of her measurements. She kept saying things like “looks good” and “great” so I figured I would be settling in for another 6 days since things still looked ok. She was finishing up so I asked if she could tell how big the baby was. I will never forget her next words – “Umm actually this is saying she’s 10 pounds. You can go wait in the waiting room for the Doctor and uh yeah good luck with that.” I’m pretty sure there were tears rolling down my face before she even finished talking.

Of course I was not going to sit in the waiting room and wait patiently so I went out into the stairwell to call Larry. I was in full blown crying mode at this point and probably scared the hell out of him when he answered his work phone. I told him that we were expecting a toddler and that I would need him to leave work because I was freaking out. I told him I would update him after I saw the doctor and pulled myself together enough to wait for my name to be called to be taken to the back room. As luck would have it, the doctor I was meeting with was my least favorite I had seen (my office has 5 doctors and you are required to see all of them throughout your pregnancy because whoever is on call when you go into labor will be your doctor). He walked in and greeted me with “so she’s a little big”. He explained that he didn’t think that she was really 10 pounds and due to ultrasound discrepancies she was probably somewhere between 8.5-9.5 but I was definitely not about to welcome a 7 pounder into the world. When he said that he recommended a c-section I was instantly relieved. He said that he was concerned that because I hadn’t progressed at all and that because she was big that if they induced me she might get stuck and we would have to move to a c-section anyway. I told him I agreed as I had no desire to try to push a toddler sized infant and go through labor only to end up in surgery anyway. I spent the next hour hooked back up to the monitor listening to her heartbeat again… everything was still great and I was apparently having very small intermittent contractions. The Dr. told me he had the nurses on the phone with the hospital trying to schedule me for surgery and that they would get me in probably Wednesday or Thursday. They kept getting put on hold so they took my cell phone number and told me they would call me.

I walked out of the office and was still pretty freaked out so I went to my happy place – HomeGoods. I just needed to walk around and not think about it for awhile. As I was pulling out of the parking lot around 3, the doctor’s office called me and asked when I had eaten last. I said 12 and they said “OK good. Don’t eat anything else. They can take you at 6 tonight and you have to be at the hospital at 5. Congratulations!”. So after all of those weeks of waiting, we were having a baby in 3 hours. I made the necessary phone calls (Larry to leave work, family and friends to let them know) and I went home to take a shower. I figured this was the last shower I would have in peace and quiet for a long time. My bags had already been packed so as soon as Larry came home from work we were pretty much ready to go (after I had to talk him out of wearing a transformers shirt because really that is just not the outfit that our daughter needed to see him in for the first time – like hey mom who is this jerk in the cartoon shirt?). I think at this point it really had not set in yet.

We got to the hospital and I got all set up in the fancy gown and poked with the IV and all of that fun stuff. The nurses in the OR were so sweet and made me feel more relaxed. We learned a new word “macrosomic” which is the medical term for a large baby and the reason for my c-section. The nurses assured me that I would not be having the biggest baby ever and that they had delivered an 11 pound boy last week which made me feel better. Larry got to suit up in this super hot white zip up which I of course wanted to take a picture of. The nurses told me that they would do it for me later but that never happened so they lost a point in my book. The doctors were wearing equally appealing zip up coveralls and were wearing glasses with little plastic shields. When I commented that they were pretty intense, one mentioned that I should not look at the glasses during the surgery unless I wanted to get a glimpse so I made a mental note of that.


The last shot of the big belly


They made Larry wait in the prep room while I got wheeled into the OR. I remember a few things about it – it was much smaller than what I thought it would be (you know strictly based on my previous experience of watching ER and Grey’s Anatomy”, there were way too many tools and gadgets prepped and laid out (I diverted my eyes quickly to block this out) and it was cold. I got the spinal tap which I was nervous about because of my fear of needles but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be although I clearly didn’t look at it. Watching them all get ready for the surgery was really bizarre. After I couldn’t feel my legs and they were down in my lower region I figured that I had better get used to not feeling modest as they were about to get really personal and familiar with my body and my baby. There was a large crowd in the room at that point – the doctor from my office (oddly enough the one doctor I hadn’t met yet but I ended up loving), the attending doctor from the hospital and a med student doctor and I think 2 or 3 nurses plus the anesthesiologist. I think they all knew each other well because they were laughing and joking about if they could beat previous speed records for c-sections they had done together. At this time, my doctor also put his ipod into the speakers and we all started listing to Pandora Radio. It felt very Nip/Tuck (because apparently my TV watching history really did prepare me for having a c-section) but I guess listening to music beats silence.

They let Larry come in at this point and got ready to start the surgery and said they would have her out within 20 minutes. I don’t remember why but I had to have my arms strapped down which I did not like but at least I got to hold Larry’s hand which was probably the most comforting thing in the world at that point. We had already discussed that Larry would be keeping up near my head and not seeing anything below the sheet that was propped up to block our view and clearly he did not put up a fight about it. From there the whole experience was so surreal. I could feel pressure and them tugging around but couldn’t really tell much else. I don’t remember us doing much talking while we waited to hear her come out and after what felt like a lot sooner than 20 minutes they said they were about to take her out. When the lifted her up and out for us to see her, she wasn’t screaming her head off but she was definitely squirming and letting out little cries. I thought she sounded like a bird and it was the sweetest sound I had ever heard in my life. They cut the umbilical cord and let Larry go over to the scale to take pictures of her as she was getting cleaned off and measured.



8 lbs 14 oz of pure cuteness



When he came back over to me I wanted to know how big she was and if she had red hair. He told me that she was the most beautiful baby and the perfect size and had light hair and a few minutes later I got to meet her for myself. Because my arms were held down they placed her on my chest and I got to kiss her sweet little pink head and fell in love with her. They had her swaddled up and Larry got to feed her a bottle (apparently this is normal for bigger babies because they need to keep up their blood sugar) and I will never in my life forget the loving look on larry’s face as he held our first born child as he cradled her in his arm and fed her. As much as I loved him before, I loved him so much more after this.



Not ready to be uncurled and in the world


The rest of the surgery was tortuous for me. Besides the fact that I couldn’t hold Emma yet, I was uncomfortable being strapped onto the table. I kept feeling pressure on my chest and I was nervous that something was wrong so I said it outloud that it was bothering me and I was told that it was OK. Larry later told me that it was because they had my parts up and out of my body – gross. The putting me together process took much longer than the first half and it felt like forever when we were done but I think it was only slightly more than an hour that we were actually in there. When I was all put back together and cleaned up I finally got to hold Emma as they wheeled me back into the post op room. I wasn’t allowed to be transferred to my actual room until I could wiggle my toes so we some quality time as our little family of three together. The nurses were in and out checking on us but for the most part we were just left by ourselves. It was kinda weird to think that they were just leaving us there with this little baby – I kind of felt like they were going to come tell us what to do next with her but we were on our own. So we spent this next time (I lost track of time by this point – I think we were back there for almost 2 hours) just loving on each other. Emma slept the entire time while we held her and fell more in love with her.





The first of many cuddles with daddy


When we finally got to go to my room, we got wheeled my our many family members who had come to meet our little girl – I remember being wheeled past them and I was holding her and everyone was just full of smiles and so happy to see her (especially after having to wait so long). When we got into our room, they took Emma off to the nursery for her tests and we got to visit with a few special friends (including officer Tom who brought Larry dinner and scared the nurses when appearing in his uniform to our room). I was fortunate to have had a perfect surgery and of course to not feel any pain as we sat and waited in our room to have our first night with our little lady!




And that is the story of how August 24th 2010 was one of the best days of our lives!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nine Months

Dear Emma,


Here we are at 9 months – you’ve officially been loose on the outside world for as long as you were cooped up inside the belly. Of course, to celebrate in fashion you finally became mobile. For a few weeks now, you had been impressing us with your pilates style moves – getting yourself into a pushup position and completely off the ground – and boy have we been impressed. I sense that you have not been too impressed since you don’t ever really get anywhere but everyone else could see that you were on your way. And then finally, I’d say right on your 9 month birthday, you were up and actually moving with your adorable little army crawl. If I thought you were happy before when you could sit up and look around, I was wrong because nothing has compared to the happiness you get when you crawling around.

In other big things in your world, you are still loving food. You are content to eat oatmeal and rice cereal and what you think is delicious fruit and veggie mush. It seems that you are taking after your momma with a love for fruit and your daddy for a disdain of veggies. So far sweet potato, apples and bananas rule your world but you are quick to push anything green out of your mouth. Your one true love is yogurt and your little eyes light up when you see the containers coming out of the fridge. You still manage to make quite a mess whenever you eat and we spend a good portion of the time fighting over who can hold the spoon (which sometimes warrants you getting your own spoon to hold – because momma always loves to wash more dishes!) but you are our favorite dinner guest and we love to have you at the table.

It’s hard for me to believe you are already 9 months and in such a short time we’ll be celebrating your birthday. You have truly made the last 9 months the best times of our lives and we could never have imagined having a better experience with you.

Love,
Momma




Emma, 9 months

Friday, May 20, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

There is nothing cuter than a baby in a bathing suit. My mom insisted on purchasing a NB size bathing suit last year (she assured me it was on clearance and less than $5) and I let her put Emma in it for one (screaming) picture.

I had been wanting to sign Emma up for baby swim classes for awhile. I knew that friends of ours had been doing them with their baby who is 3 months older than Emma and when they said the winter session was starting soon, I jumped on the chance. Unfortunately for us, we only had 3 days to prepare and I was going to be out of town for the first class so Larry would have to go alone.

The first task was picking out a bathing suit. This was in March so of course stores already had them out in hopes to alleviate the winter blues. I wanted something simple and not too frilly (Larry strictly limits the number of over the top frilly baby girl clothes I can purchase - sigh) and nothing with logos on it (really Old Navy, it's not cool). I was alarmed immediately at the wide selection of infant 2 piece bathing suits but was able to pick out a respectable 1 piece that covered all the right parts.


modeling my selection - I think she likes it


So for 8 weeks, we bundled up on Saturday mornings to head into the cold only to be greeted by the intense heat of the local YMCA (I cannot say enough good things about the Milford Y, I was nervous based on my previous Y experiences but the facilities did not dissapoint) for a half hour class of mommy and me swimming.


Emma admires her surroundings...


Of course there wasn't much swimming as much as there was singing songs, moving around in giant circles and floating but I loved every minute. I quickly mandated a "both mommy and daddy must go in" rule and we enjoyed some family QT together.


Daddy of the Year nominee right here for going alone on week 1!


When asked if Emma liked it, I mostly reply "I think so". It was hard to tell really. Up until this point when given a bath, she would sit very still and barely move - almost like she just wanted to hurry up and have it be over. I'd say swimming went pretty much the same way - she mostly stared around the whole time probably wondering where the hell we had taken her now. A huge fan of kicking her legs, she did not dissapoint in that department but never really moved her arms much (except when she started trying to roll over off the kickboard). She never once cried, unlike some of the other babies who cried most of the time in the pool. On the contrary, the only real expression she showed was to laugh when these other babies would cry - oh she is my child :)

a rare almost smile from the edge of the wading pool


Although the 8 week sessions continue all year long we are opting not to continue for now. I know she'll get tons of water exposure in grandma's pool this summer but I'd like to consider joining the Y and taking another class next winter. I liked the idea of having a good activity to do with her when we are cooped up in the house from the cold and it was fun having something for the 3 of us to do together:)


Pool loving from daddy

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Anatomy of a Cranky Baby

Dear Emma,

Your daddy and I are extremely blessed in the fact that 95% of the time you are the happiest baby we have ever seen. This fact alone has put serious doubts on our plans to procreate again as we are sure that we will be punished with a screaming baby #2.

But Emma, that 5% is not fun for anyone. I can almost predict it coming when I see your daycare report card.

I know that this will happen on the way home...

And I know that this will follow shortly after when I wake you up for dinner...

I can't blame you though, momma could use a nap everyday too in order to function at my best - but I will still love you forever and listen to your cries and wipe away the tears while I do my best to cuddle you and make you smile again.

Please don't protest naps,
Momma

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My New Favorite

I bought these baby leggings back when I was pregnant and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to bring them out. On Sunday when the rain started, it became the perfect outfit.

Perfect for grocery shopping (although my shopping buddy does not look happy).

Perfect for lounging on the floor playing (again do not let her face fool you that she doesn't love the outfit).

Perfect for trying to crawl away while getting your diaper changed so you can grab the remote (I am sure there is a smile here)



Now, onto shopping for more baby legs!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Homemade


Larry will probably never let me live it down but I did once say that I didn't want construction paper crafts all over the place (in regards to christmas ornaments) but I really do die of cuteness everytime something like this comes home from daycare. There are so many handmade projects I want to do with her but can never find the time so I am enternally grateful to still have these coming my way :)