Sunday, March 31, 2013

Our First Week

We spent Monday and much of Tuesday in the hospital. Monday night, Chad and Jen came and visited us in the hospital. They took care of Opie while we were in the hospital, which was awesome.

We got home from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon. Our amazing neighbors made us delicious lasagna and salad and even got us a "Welcome Home Layla" cake. This coming home outfit was made by Mike's grandmother, Mary. His dad wore it home from the hospital, and so did Mike, and NOW so has Layla!

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights Layla and I didn't sleep much, and therefore I don't really remember what happened on Wednesday or Thursday. :) Layla and Mike have been having daddy and daughter time in the mornings while I get some sleep.

My 3am buddy. I will party with this girl any time.

On the topic of Mike, I don't know what we would do without him. I can't say that enough. He has been taking great care of both Layla and I incredibly well. I think he's gone to the grocery store about a zillion times for various one-off things (oh, honey, I'm so sorry. can you go back to the store and get (insert mundane item here)). He has taken care of household chores, takes Opie to the park or walks him twice a day, he brings me coffee, he gets up when I am so tired. The most important and beautiful thing is that he is completely and wholly in love with Layla.

Sleepy, smitten Daddy.

Her first bath- it was a 2 person job. We will get better at this, I am sure.
On Friday, our friends Raj and Krista brought us dinner, and they got to meet Layla. Their little girl Maya is about 7 months old and it was wild to see how big she was compared to wee Layla!

Tummy Time!
Friday and Saturday we adjusted Layla's eating schedule slightly. We were doing on demand feeding, which we were supplementing with some formula because she dropped in weight pretty significantly (nothing dangerous, but about 10%) at her 48 hour check. She was cluster feeding in the middle of the night, and sleeping for 3-4 hours a pop during the day. For the last 2 days, we started waking her up about every 2.5-3 hours for her to eat during the day and then doing a mega feed plus formula supplement in the late evening. She slept for 4 hours with a quick feed at 3am and then another 2 hours on Friday night, and then last night, she slept for 2 hours, quick feed, and then slept for 5 HOURS (WHAT?!??). I feel like a new woman.

I am sure this will all change in the next few days... or next 30 minutes... and that's entirely ok. :)

Layla Ruth Parker

Introducing the incredible Layla Ruth, born on March 24 at 7:59pm, 7 pounds 13.1 oz, 21.5 inches long. 

She is perfect and we are absolutely smitten. 

My water broke at about 2:15am on Sunday (Palm Sunday this year), but the contractions hadn't woken me up, so we spent the next hour timing contractions. They were about a minute long and about 4 minutes apart, so we called the nurse line and were told to come on in to the delivery unit. We arrived at the hospital around 4am.

We checked in and got monitored for a while, then they put us in a delivery room. After going through the contractions for a few hours, we decided to get an epidural around 7am, thinking that I should be saving my energy for pushing, which according to my progression would be coming early/mid afternoon. 

Unfortunately, we hung out at 4cm dilated with contractions 4 minutes apart lasting about 1 minute for like 5 hours. Each time I had a contraction the baby's heart rate would drop a little bit, so the doctor was concerned that her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. At some point (time becomes really hazy for me) the doctor came in and said she wanted us to just start thinking about the possibility of a c-section. All along, Mike and I have said that we would do whatever was best for the baby, so that wasn't really much of a discussion. 

Finally, someone decided it was ok for me to get pitosin to get the labor moving. Around 4pm Dad and Jennifer arrived, thinking they would be there in time to hold the baby... Little did they know, we still had a few more hours to go. They came in and chatted with Mike and I which was a great distraction. At this point, I was pretty fatigued and starting to feel the contractions more, and I started to shake uncontrollably. Mike looked up the shaking, and it is apparently normal (?), just a result of crazy hormone surges. Plus none of the doctors seemed worried about it, so we decided not to worry. Around 6pm, I got really uncomfortable and Dad and Jen left the delivery room. Mike was wonderful, helping me get through the contractions. The nurses and doctors came and went, making sure I was ok with my pain management. I wanted to be numb, but I also wanted to be able to push effectively, so needed to feel some of the pain of the contractions. I think around 7 I started feeling really intensely that I needed to push. 
The doctors and nurses came in- I have no idea how they knew what was happening, but they did. They were still worried about the cord being around her neck because her heart rate kept dropping. At some point, I decided or someone told me to start pushing. We pushed in earnest for about 45 minutes. The doctor had to do a vacuum extraction and a couple of other measures, but our perfect, incredible little daughter was born. She did have the cord around her neck, but she quickly got oxygenated once they got her out and under the infant warmer thing. 

I don't remember much about these moments, but what I remember was hearing her cry and thinking it was the most beautiful noise I have ever heard. Then I remember trying to see her in the warmer, and Mike telling me she was ok. And then someone put her on my chest. Our precious little Layla. 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

39 weeks- soooooo clooooseeee!!!!

 Here we are at 39 weeks! I am getting practice contractions pretty frequently these days, but they're not regular or intense enough to be early labor, I don't think. They are getting stronger, and have been the most intense this evening.

We finally put the finishing touches on the nursery! I think it looks really sweet. Jen sent us one of her rag rugs, and Opie loved it!!

Mike hung the bunting I made over the weekend. We have slanted ceilings, so we needed something to cover all that empty space. I love the room because it's a combination of old and new things, and is full of really special little things- the chair cover and dust ruffle Mom made, the rug Jen made, the bunting I made, the amazing gifts like the super sweet baby monitor from Karen, and the little insta-nanny diaper/feeding counter device my wonderful babysitter Stephanie (as in, she was my babysitter- she remains the best) gave us. Mike's great grandfather's signature, my grandmother's picture, an old chair and dresser, new crib and books. This video isn't great quality, but it gives an idea of what the nursery looks like.

I went on 2 walks today, trying to get this show on the road! I go to the doctor tomorrow morning, so we'll see what she says!

Mike has to help me tie my shoes. I tried to take a picture of it, but obviously got mostly belly.

That's what I meant to do, just needed to hold the camera out a little (lot). The $5 is for Blueberry's piggy bank from GrandMargaret and Uncle Bob!

We are in the final countdown!!!! (sung like Europe)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

38 weeks

Here we are with 2 weeks to go!!!

I did a meet and greet with a pediatrician in our area today, and I liked her, so I think we're going to go with her. She's about 10 minutes away, which is pretty great considering DC's traveling times/distances. Mike things the baby has dropped a little bit, and if the pressure that I am feeling in my hips is any indication, she has definitely dropped. I am uncomfortable these days and really ready to meet the little girl. 

I was at a conference Sunday through Tuesday of this week, and I overdid it a little bit. Though the conference was supposed to end today, I came home yesterday because I was exhausted and just felt weird. It's hard to describe, but I just feel weird most of the time now. My mom says it's just the body preparing, and I am sure that's correct. That's how it feels, but it's hard to describe.

We have continued to get incredibly thoughtful gifts and specifically books from friends and family. One of the most amazing things is that friends young and old have sent their favorite books. In addition, our friends from overseas have sent some children's books that are specific to their home countries, so Blueberry will be able to read the same books as kids in the USA, Scotland, England, Canada and Switzerland. Amazing. Mike and I are both so thankful for the kindness and thoughtfulness everyone has shown us. Reading the messages on the front covers of books has been such a gift. I've said this before, but the wee one is already so loved, I can't wait for her to meet everyone. 

Opie has been practicing keeping watch over the nursery. I can't tell if he knows what's going on, but he's stopped putting his head on my belly, and when we go to sleep he curls up in a ball at my feet. it's possible that he can't put his head on my belly anymore because it sticks up and would be uncomfortable. I prefer to think it's because he knows the baby is coming soon. He has started sitting in the baby's room with his chin on the window sill watching out the window. It's pretty cute. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

37 weeks- Thankfulness

Here we are at 37 weeks. I think overall I am feeling good and have had it pretty easy compared to most women in their 37th week. I am feeling a bit run down these days and definitely embracing the waddle-phase. I am starting to feel like my body is getting ready for this little one. She is all up in my ribs, especially on my right side. I am kind of looking forward to when she drops a little bit more!

 Mike helped me take pictures, resulting in this photo.

As you can see, I am starting to get to the point that clothes don't so much fit any more... this might be an awkward 3 weeks.

We are so thankful for all the gifts we have gotten this week. Not only have we received all of the main things that we needed off the registry (THANK YOU!!!), Jordan and Scare threw us a virtual shower. They asked people to send us books that were meaningful to them and write a little message on the inside. How incredible. We have gotten books from friends and family from all over the US and UK. We have had such a great time reading the inside messages to The Blueberry. This is our lovely collection to date. Kids books are hilarious, and the art is absolutely incredible. We can't wait to read the books to her and tell her about all the people that sent them. There's even a couple of blueberry themed books!

We have packed our hospital bags. I take that back. I have packed MY hospital bag. Mike nagged me for a week until I finally packed mine, and he actually has made it to the phase where his bag is sitting at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be taken upstairs and packed. I'll let him off the hook because he installed the baby seat in the car and has been doing the lion's share of the laundry, cooking and cleaning over the last couple of days.

Last weekend I tried really hard on Saturday to get a lot done because I am getting progressively less mobile and more tired through the day. One of my most major accomplishments to date, regardless of pregnancy was to change the headlight in my car. I went to Advanced Auto, bought the bulb and then looked up a video on youtube for installation. I did a small victory lap around the car by myself when it worked.

All in all, we are doing well. We cleaned our room and set up the bassinet friends Raj and Krista loaned  us and got a little diaper station put together in our room. Then we cleaned up the nursery. So exciting!!!