Friday, July 31, 2009

TWO weeks

We've survived the first two weeks of postpartum and new baby! Hooray! It was a little rough there in the beginning, but we are settling in nicely now.

When we first arrived home on day 4 my hormones went crazy and I was a weepy mess for a few days. I cried if anyone came over, I cried if anyone left, I cried if I answered the phone and the person on the other end said, "How are you?"... yikes, I was a bit of a mess. Andy was amazing (of course he was), he took care of me, of Maddie, of Fischer, of our house, of the meals and visitors coming each day... everything. He made sure that I was able to sneak in extra naps during the day and was ready with a pep talk at a moments notice... often. I am so thankful that God has given me such an incredible husband and I am so grateful that he is off work for the summer (he is a teacher) and can be here to help.

With the weepiness, I kept thinking that I was just going to stay that way or spiral out of control into a deep depression. Andy kept reminding me that I just feel this way right now, and it doesn't mean anything about the future. I tried to focus on that, and I wanted everyone I talked to to tell me that this was normal and that it would pass.

It passed and I am feeling sooo much better now. I'm still healing from the c-section, but I am much more mobile and a lot less sore. So things are going in the right direction... OH - and a few days ago, I got my ankles back! WAHOO! I can fit into all of my shoes again!

Maddie is doing really well and really GROWING! We went for her 2 week appointment and she weighed 9 lbs, 2 oz already and measured at 21 inches. They said that she was healthy and perfect! Isn't that what every mother wants to hear? She's been out a bit... slept through a few family and friend outings - like the Dinosaur museum, playgroup and the farmer's market.

She has been battling reflux and has to take what appears to be the most disgusting tasting medicine ever - poor baby! She also has a very high pitched gasping sound that she makes quite often. The doctor said it was due to her tiny air passages. It makes it a little unnerving to sleep when you hear her make that sound. We've got her in our room so that we can keep tabs on her.

Fischer is still enjoying her, although he could do without her crying. He went back out to the waiting room at the doctor's office when they were about to prick her heel, so that he wouldn't have to hear her cry.

He takes pride in being able to help her in some way. He knows where all of her things are kept and loves to run grab anything she needs. He has been busy with the commentary on what it is that he thinks she needs at any given time. He also says that his head matches mine and Maddie's matches daddy's. (I'm guessing he means our hair). He also said that Maddie's skin is soft and his and ours is hard. He has a special interest in when her "extension cord" (umbilical cord) is going to fall off. He has also been interested in all of the baby stuff and the fact that it used to all be his... like the swing and the bouncy chair and many of the blankets. He is sharing really well, but seems a bit miffed that he can't sit in the swing or chair anymore.

Andy is tired but has been go-go-going with all that needs to be done around here. He says that new dads get an extra burst of testosterone to keep them going and to take care of their family. He is probably secretly anxious to get back to work!

Thank you for all of the well wishes in the comments and on Facebook, thank you to my friends for all of the delicious dinners and presents, thank you to our families for all of the support and cute girlie gifts, thank you to Ann and Danae for the breast feeding support, thank you to my husband for still being Mr. Wonderful after all of these years, thank you to Fischer for being so flexible, thank you to my hormones for relaxing and letting me be "normal" again and thank you to God for our many blessings.

PS- I'll add some pictures to this post when I find my misplaced camera.

Friday, July 24, 2009

M is for Maddie

Andy, Fischer and I welcomed Maddison Daisie into the world at 7:47 am on Thursday, July 16. She weighed in at 8 lbs 9 oz and 20 inches long. She is absolutely beautiful, and we are so thankful for her.

Andy and I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am and were admitted into a birthing room so that they could monitor the baby (who still didn't have a name). We had a great nurse who seemed to really know her stuff and was a take-charge kind of gal. Apparently though, she had a bit of a bone to pick with our doctor.... so that was a bit unsettling as she kept making comments about him being in a bad mood! NOT what you want to hear about the guy who is about to cut you open!

Anyway, we walked into the OR about 7:30 and the really fabulous anaesthesiologist gave me a spinal block. Then they laid me down, hiked my gown up under my breasts and left me that naked on the table for the rest of the procedure! Is it only on TV when they drape blue things over all of the parts of you that they don't need to see? A little embarrassing... but then what could I do, I was numb from the chest down. They put the oxygen on, the IV in and then I started feeling pretty crummy... and so did Andy. He turned sheet white and had to sit in the hall for a few minutes to regain his composure. Once in, he sat right by my head and started trying to distract me with naming the baby. (We couldn't see what was going on because of the drape in front of us.) He started listing off a few of our more recent favorites, like Willow and Jordan, but still none were resonating with me. Then he started talking about renaming the dog so that we could name her Kaia... which i really was contemplating... but who would want to find out that their namesake was the word's stinkiest dog?

Next thing we knew, she was out and had a full head of dark hair! We thought it must be the goop from the womb. Andy hustled back and forth between the baby and me reporting on what the nurses were doing and trying to show me the pictures he had just taken of her, so that I could see her.

Then they pushed and pulled and practically jumped all over me, till finally I was sewed up and ready to go... can't really remember what happened next. I think they handed her to me and wheeled me back to the birthing room where my parents were anxiously awaiting their new granddaughter. I think it was around this time that Andy started referring to her as Maddie. I kept saying, that's not her name, and he kept insisting that she looked like a Maddison. Just take her hat off and look at her.

Everything went really well and we couldn't be happier with our little bundle of pink. We feel so extremely blessed.

Sometime Friday, the name Maddison had stuck and we paired it with my grandmother's name "Daisie". Of course right after that one of my aunts was just sure that she looked like my Grandmother Daisie (who we all called 'Omi'). But like Daisie herself would have said... "Maddison looks like Maddison."

Fischer absolutely loves her. He is very involved - wanting to hold her and feed her and kiss her and do everything we do to her. He loves to touch her little hands and feet and pet her head. He keeps asking me, "So, how is breast-feeding going?"

Her daddy now just calls her "Gorgeous".

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A birth story (not for the faint of heart)

I'm beginning to feel a little anxious about the baby coming. On the one hand, I cannot wait to see her and hold her and to NOT be pregnant anymore.... but on the other hand I'm feeling nervous about the c-section (scheduled for 9 days from today). I know it will all go well, but I can't help feeling a bit of anxiety these days.
The whole labor and delivery HAS to go better than it did with Fischer! I thought I'd recount the events leading to Fischer's birth... I fully realize that Fischer and I may be the only ones interested in this story... and even he won't be till 20 years from now (and even then... probably not).

In fact, do not read on unless you are perfectly OK with TOO MUCH INFORMATION. AND, do not read on if you are pregnant now, especially with your first baby... you don't need these thoughts in your head.

I woke up at 6 am one Sunday morning with "surges" (that's what we called it in the hypnobirthing classes), not contractions. It was still 2 weeks before my due date, so I was sure it was Braxton Hicks or as my mother-in-law called it "practice labor". I went about my day and later went to a home dedication for my mother-in-law who had just moved. All the while feeling surges. As evening came I was busying myself with preparations for school the following day. I was teaching second grade at the time. I spent the evening planning, correcting papers, and thinking about meeting my long-term substitute. She was supposed to be coming in on Monday morning and spending a few days with me and my class so that I could show her the ropes and plan with her for the time that I'd be gone.
Well the surges kept getting more and more painful (although after watching the hypno-birthing videos... you wouldn't think there was ANY pain involved whatsoever - nothing a little sigh or slight grunt couldn't alleviate). So now I'm thinking... um, this could be the real thing. So I start working as quickly as I can to get as much planned and prepped for school the next day. I think I must have packed my bags too. Then I got in the tub to make sure everything was as it should be for the "big show".
Finally, around 1:00 am, I woke Andy and told him it was time to go to the hospital... he had a full on panic attack, so we sat on the couch and held each other until he felt better, and we were off.
At the hospital they checked me and I wasn't even dilated! BUT when they checked me, Fischer's heart rate dropped, so they didn't want me to go back home. They checked us in. So, Andy and I hung out, walked around, and around, and around for hours while I clung to him every few seconds with surges. I tried to go into my hypno exercises, but the pain was really throwing me off! By 9:00 am, they checked me again, and there was NO progression! By this time I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, I'd been having contractions for 27 hours already... I lay in the tub in the birthing room and made the decision to give up my natural-birth aspirations and get some help. Andy had gone home to shower. When he returned, they gave me the epidural... hallelujah! What in the world was I doing to myself before? This was heaven. My mom and Danae came, and we all sat around chatting, I watched The Three Amigos (movie options were limited), and then secretly cursed my mom and Andy while they snacked in my room! I snuck a bite. Everytime they checked me I hadn't progressed. So finally they gave me Pitocin to get things moving. Around 4:00 we started the pushing... and pushing... and pushing...(Andy was huddled by my head on one side and my mom was on the other, My dad and mother-in-law were waiting outside the room) ... two and a half hours later, the nurses and midwife could see Fischer's blond hair, but he wasn't budging. So my midwife called in a "forceps specialist". Well he assessed the situation and announced that with one big push from me and one big yank from him, the baby would be out (a considerable amount of repair would be needed for me- but by this point - 36 1/2 hours later - I didn't care one bit).

This is where things got a little fuzzy until months later when my mother filled me in. Next think I knew I was being wheeled off to surgery to have a c-section. Apparently, when the doc went to give his "one big yank" he braced himself by putting his foot up on the bed - which horrified my mother and she whispered to him "this looks like a law-suit waiting to happen"... and there I went in for surgery, just like that - no yanks, no repair work needed.

In the surgery room, they asked Andy if he wanted them to put up a mirror so that he could see, he responded with a definite "Hell No", and the drape went up in front of us both. I don't know how long it all took, one minute Andy was whispering soothing things in my ear and the next, he was showing me out beautiful baby boy.
After that, everything goes pretty fuzzy.

So you see, although the outcome was nothing short of a beautiful healthy bouncing miracle... the labor was WAY TOO LONG.
So this one has got to be better, right?