Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Feeling Crafty

I spent all my "free" time today (aka Adalyn's nap times) making this Advent Calendar for Bella. I stole this idea from my friend Jessie who posted the idea on her blog a few days ago.

Mine isn't as fancy as the sample picture, but it will get the job done. I also colored the backs red and green so Bella can easily tell which days have been used. I forgot to pick up trinkets for it, so part of the fun was scrounging around the house to find a few things to get it started (tootsie rolls, stickers and a "B" star charm). I'd better remember to fill the rest before day 6 comes along!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bella Update

I haven’t blogged about Bella lately. I meant to write a Halloween recap blog but now that just seems silly. So all I’ll say is that Bella loved Halloween. She wanted to be three things – a robot, Minnie Mouse and a Scary Bear. We stuck with Minnie Mouse only. On Saturday, we went to Maple Grove to trick or treat at the shops. It was fun but BUSY! It did allow us to stop at the Grandparents houses afterwards though to show off her costume. Since Nana was working we stopped at SuperValu in Crystal to surprise her. Sunday we went trick or treating in the neighborhood – I stuck with it for about 30 minutes and then let Bella and JT finish up. We ended up handing out candy to a whopping 15 kids at our house. But we did pass a lot of neighbors with their younger kids out and about so I bet we just missed them.

Bella loves talking about the holidays and always asks which one is next. Unfortunately, she’ll bring up Halloween here and there and get sad when we say it’s so far away. The good news is that we did let her have some candy (two pieces each on Sat and Sun) but after the weekend she never asked about candy again! We still have a huge bag in our kitchen but it’s like she forgot we even had it. Just yesterday was the first time we busted a sucker out of the Halloween bag for her…otherwise JT and I have been making a pretty good dent in the stash.

Since Addy was born it feels like Bella grew exceptionally fast. I pick her up and I swear she weighs 100 lbs. She talks about things and has these expressions that I never have heard/wonder where it came from. She’s really into pretending and dressing up. One of her favorite games right now is ‘Dr Daisy’ where all her Mickey Mouse characters need to go to the Dr (Daisy). Minnie’s issue is that she has old tap shoes…honestly no idea where Bella came up with that ailment.

She loves to dance. We’ll put on the Wiggles “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” DVD and she doesn’t’ just sit in a trance anymore - she’ll actually get up and do the same dances. It’s nice to see her imitating and learning. She makes up and names her own dances. One she demonstrated on Thanksgiving for everyone that involved stomping feet, shaking your butt and blinking your eyes.

The adjustment to being a big sister is going fine. She gets jealous sometimes and tells people to put the baby down, but mostly Bella goes about her business as normal with an occasional break to look at the baby and exclaim “Oh, look at the baby! She is sooo cuuute!” If Addy is making noise Bella will ask what is wrong or tell us to feed or change her. Also, everyone has been doing a great job at making sure big sister gets as much attention as little sister which helps someone who is so used to being the center of attention!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sweet Adalyn

One week down and just like my labor story, the first week with Adalyn has been so different than the first week with Bella. The biggest difference is that JT has been home with us all week. It’s been so nice and I don’t know how I would have done it without him. Because we were in the hospital so long with Bella (Mon night through Friday) and she didn’t even come home until Saturday of the week she was born, it took up the entire week JT had off. So JT was home with us one day before he had to go back to work. Adalyn’s timing worked out much better though.

We brought Adalyn home on Sunday afternoon. JT’s parents and sister came to visit Sunday night as well as friends Sarah and Jason. The first few nights were rough in terms of sleep. She slept on us in the living room and it was the expected unexpected. We didn’t know when she’d want to wake up, sleep, eat, cry, etc. By Wed we decided it was time to get her used to her bassinet and thankfully she’s taken to it well. For the past 2 days she’s gone down for naps in the bassinet and sleeps in it at night! I’m hoping this keeps up as she gets older because it’s nice to lay down in bed at night rather than try to get comfy on the arm chair.

Feeding has been a struggle. I’m nursing and having more pain this time than I did with Bella. It started in the hospital and has resulted in..well, a lot of pain. I won’t go into details but anyone who has nursed may be able to imagine what things started to look like. I’ll admit, it also resulted in a lot of tears and frustration but I am forcing myself to be patient since the reality is that breastfeeding isn’t easy and it does typically hurt. I know that what I’m experiencing isn’t normal, though so I’ve reached out for help. We’ve talked to a home nurse, Adalyn’s pediatrician and I’ve contacted my local La Leche League leader. As of today, things are getting better. Not as much pain and things are healing. I still have thoughts that I’d like to just quit and bottle feed, but know I won’t for a lot of reasons. So now it’s figuring out how to make it easier on me.

Otherwise the adjustment has been going well. I’m much more relaxed with Adalyn than I was with Bella. She sleeps all the time (as did Bella, but I was still stressed out all the time with her). I’m more confident. My hormones seem to be back in check (I haven’t cried for no reason yet today! Yay!) I’ll be keeping a close eye on my hormones/emotions because I let it go on a little too long with Bella before I got help and don’t want that to happen again this time around.

Bella has been adjusting well too. It’s helped that she’s gone to my mom’s or my sister-in-law’s 3 times this week (she was home with us Mon and Thurs) to give us quiet time at home with Adalyn. Plus she loves it. I don’t think Bella would be as happy if she was home with me all day everyday. When she gets home the first thing she’ll say is “Oooh, look at the baby! She is so cute!” and will give kisses and pokes. But then for the most part it’s as if baby isn’t around. She goes about her business and we play. Sometimes she’ll tell me to set the baby down and yesterday we had a mini-meltdown when I had to feed Addy and Bella didn’t want me to. Again, it’s nice that JT is here to help defuse those type of situations.

As I mentioned earlier, Addy sleeps most of the time but the past 2 days she’s had some good awake periods. I love looking at her face and watching her expressions. I still can’t get over that she was in my stomach just a week ago and now she is here. I feel like a new mom again in so many ways.

Big thanks to all our family that has helped us out this week (and the past 2.5 years with Bella!!). I couldn’t have done it without all the help and look forward to the weeks to come!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Adalyn's Labor/Birth Story

Wed, 11/17 I went to work and started feeling cramps/aches. I knew I wasn’t having contractions because the pain never went away. It wasn’t severe so I continued work as normal, but it was bad enough that when I heard that JT had to work late I invited myself to stay at my parent’s house for dinner. I knew I wouldn’t feel up to taking care of Bella by myself that night.

Wed night after we all got home, I thought I was starting to have contractions but they were mild and irregular. I didn’t want to get my hopes up …but couldn’t help but be excited that something may actually happen soon. The contractions continued through the night (still mild and inconsistent) and woke me up a few times, so I called into work in the morning deciding that I should wait to see how Thursday played out. I went back to bed and by the time I woke up at 10am on Thursday, the contractions had went away completely.

I knew the best thing for me would be to get up and walk around and be active, but I was so tired, felt so big and just didn’t have any energy. So I relaxed most of the day hoping that the contractions would magically start again. Around 2:00 I forced myself to get up and start cleaning the house. About 4:30 I started feeling something, but wasn’t sure if it was just from vacuuming and running up and down the steps… so I went to get Bella letting my in-laws know that I was hoping to be in the hospital soon but not really believing that I would be.

By the time JT got home at 6:00, I now knew I was officially having contractions but they still weren’t regular. I kept track during dinner (hamburgers and tater tots) and they were coming anywhere from 5-8 min apart. I decided to call my parents since they’d be watching Bella the next day anyway and it’d make more sense for them to just take her overnight “just in case” anything happened. Again, I was really hoping baby was coming but wasn’t convinced anything really would happen. But my parents came to get Bella and JT and I continued to track the contractions.

At 9:30pm they were regular at 8 min apart and the pain was still manageable, but was getting worse. I decided to call Labor and Delivery to see what they would say. I was told that I could come in if the pain wasn’t manageable, but if I could wait another 30-60 min the contractions might get closer together. I decided to wait. Around 11:00 they were still 8 min apart but the pain was getting worse. I was going back and forth regarding if I should go in and JT obviously didn’t know what to do either. We finally decided to just lay down in bed and try to get some rest. I figured if something was really going to happen we might as well get some sleep.
The first contraction I had laying down changed my mind. I decided I had to go in. So we got up and started getting ready…then I changed my mind again and thought maybe I was being too anxious. Finally, I decided to call L&D and even though they sounded hesitant they said they’d plan on me coming in. The drive to the hospital (10 min) I second guessed myself but knew I made the right decision when contractions started coming just a couple of minutes apart and I had 3 by the time we walked from the car to the 4th floor of Mercy Hospital.

They checked me in and got me a bed in the triage dept. We could tell it was really busy and nurses were scrambling to find rooms/beds. A nurse came in to check me and made a comment about how she thought I was measuring 6, but she couldn’t really tell… so she called another nurse in who checked and said “Oh, you are an 8 or even a 9! Good thing we didn’t tell you stay home!”.

My first reaction (other than being relived that we decided to come in and that it was really happening)? “Can I still get an epidural??”. I was worried I lost my chance! Thankfully they said I could, but they’d have to get it going NOW. Also, I tested as GBH positive during my pregnancy which meant that I should have been on antibiotics during labor in order to protect baby from infection. Well no one told us that the antibiotics take 4 hours. So they told us that we pretty much missed our chance because there was no way I was lasting 4 hours (THANK GOD!) and while they’d still get it going for me it meant that they’d have to keep baby for a full 48 hours just to monitor her. My next question was if that meant she could still be in our room (because Bella had to spend her time in the Level 2 nursery/couldn’t be in our room with us) and they said she could still be with us (again, thank god!)

Everyone had sprung into action. They attempted an IV four times before getting it in my arm. In that process, they gave me some pain medication to hold me off until the Epi. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was great. I immediately felt light headed and relaxed. So relaxed that I didn’t care what was happening anymore. Unfortunately, it only lasted a short time but worth it. One other comment I remember a nurse making was regarding how I was starting to shake – she said “oh, you’re transitioning! You’re starting to shake”. Which I assume means that I was transitioning to being fully dilated.

They transported me into an actual delivery room and that’s when my body really started reacting. Thankfully they did get the epidural in me in time. Not long after that, I couldn’t stop shaking. It got to the point where I freaked the nurse out, but I couldn’t stop. It didn’t take long until I felt like I had to push, but was confused because it felt more like I had to go to the bathroom than push a baby out.
While my nurse ended up being great, she admitted to me later that she normally doesn’t do deliveries and that she was newer to Mercy. She worked as a postpartum nurse at a different hospital for many years and recently transferred to Mercy. She does labor when they need help. ..and I’ll be honest that it showed. She wasn’t the most confident, but she got the job done I guess. She kept having trouble with the blood pressure monitor and was verbally frustrated. At one point I almost told her to give up on the freaking blood pressure because I had to PUSH, but I contained myself.

My nurse confirmed with another nurse that if I had to push, I should push. She said “the Dr is in another delivery now, and then has a c-section, and then he’ll be in..”. Well crap! That sounds like a long time. But I was given the green light so I pushed while laying on my side, holding JT’s hand and shaking like a leaf. Before long, the Dr actually came in and I realized that this was it. Here was here to deliver the baby! He got things ready and reminded me and JT how to push (wait for a contraction, push while counting until 10, repeat 3x for each contraction). And guess what? 15 minutes later Adayln was born!

With Bella, I pushed for 2 hours and 45 minutes so I could hardly believe it when they said they saw the head. JT saw way more this time than last time and I could tell he was a little squeamish, but he did really well. At one point everyone got a little quiet and JT was still encouraging me to push, but he Dr said “no no, maybe only 50%” so I gave a little push and asked what was going on. The Dr said “take a look!” and there she was! My baby! Less than 3 hours after we got to the hospital, she was delivered, checked out and I was able to hold her. Totally different experience than with Bella.

The rest of the hospital stay went well. We delivered Fri morning and stayed until Sun afternoon. We got a lot of help with nursing from the lactation consultant and nurses and spent a lot of time cuddling with Addy. We did put her in the nursery at night and they brought her back for feedings.

Visitors included Grandma, Grandpa, Bella (they came twice – once each day), Aunt Lissa, Nana, Papa, Clayton (with Melissa again), Great Grandma (with Nana and Papa again), Aunt Michelle, Uncle Pete, Uncle Andy, friends Melissa, Curt (with Reese!) and Jessica.

Overall the staff at Mercy took great care of us and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience!