Friday, February 19, 2010

New to Mommyhood

I am a living breathing mommy....and I LOVE IT! God is good and given us such a little miracle, and I thank Him everyday for that. My spirits are bright and I am in love.

Time tables: I have to admit that I never understood when all of my 'new mommy friends' managed to disappear off of the radar. It seemed that the minute my friends had a baby, they would not resurface for quite awhile...well, now I understand.

When you have a newborn, you are put on a time table...more like a grid. This grid is strictly regimented with time slots. Eli is eating every two hours on that grid, and the feeding schedule is from the start of one feeding to the start of another. So, if he eats for 45 minutes, that allows me 1 hour and 15 minutes to do something in between. Therefore, every decision and 'to do thing' must be accomplished in these little windows of time. Perhaps I want to take a shower...that is a window. Answer e-mails, do laundry, eat, update a blog, write in a baby book, or....oh yeah, SLEEP. Needless to say, it gets very tricky to get everything you want to do done.

However, I can say 'That an Iphone is a mommy's best friend'! This sweet little invention has rocked my mommy-world. It has become my link to the outside world. I use it most often for the breastfeeding and diaper counting applications. It also functions for my many lists (to-do, grocery shopping, pumping schedule, ect), it has also come
in handy with facebook and emailing. :)

First Bath: Eli had his first bath on Thursday. It was a pretty standard 'first baby sponge bath', with a little surprise. I had pulled out one of Keith's favorite baby shower gifts, a cookie monster hooded towel, for Eli's first bath. As Eli was getting sponged down from head to toe, he decided to leave us a little surprise. No, I am not talking about a 'pee-pee', but a major 'poo-poo'! Ha was classic. So, we went through two towels in our first bath. Also, after spot treating cookie monster there is still a little spot to mark our memory. Keith is slightly upset that cookie monster has a battle scar, but I think it is great.

Lioness: I just had to put a 'blurb' in about being a lioness, because my claws came out. Keith and I were trying to relax around the house with Eli when the doorbell rang. It was an obnoxious 'Grill Master' sales rep. I was sure to tell him we were not interested and had a sleeping newborn inside. Then, when our doorbell rang 2 minutes later, and I stomped to the door fuming. A second 'Grill Master' salesman was standing at the door, to which I told him that we had our fair share of reps coming to the house. Then, I explained to him that we had a newborn inside and to take '8301 Laughing Waters' off their list of houses to visit in the future.

First outing: On Eli's 'one week birthday', Keith and I thought we could manage a trip to Target. See, I desperately needed nursing bras and tanks, as I had no wardrobe to support my new lifestyle. We went in to make a few exchanges and shortly after Eli was into a cry...which somewhat calmed down. I quickly b-lined to the bras and picked out a few sizes. I rushed to the dressing room and started trying them on. Keith had Eli in the cart outside the room, when Eli started to cry. I guess it was pure 'animal instinct' but when I heard my baby crying at a distance, it made me crazy. I felt like a grizzly bear that could hear her young crying as a predator approached. My heart leaped from my chest to get to him. It was many minutes later before I selected my bounty, hit the register, and were out the door.

Breastfeeding and company: I LOVE breastfeeding. I think partly because I didn't know if I would be able to, and partly because it has been great bonding. I have to admit that it is not exactly the 'easiest thing'. It can be painful in the beginning, takes away more of your sleep, requires 'you' for everything (versus Keith being able to feed him), but most of all it can be mentally taxing. There is a lot of pressure that is put on a mom to know that she is the full support for her new baby. His growth and success is totally riding on my ability to keep a schedule and produce milk for him to about pressure.

The upsides significantly outweigh the down. I love that he 'needs' me. I love that I am 'the answer' to what he is looking for. I love that I am 'his love'. And, I love the time that we get together. Like I mentioned before, I get 'this time' every 2 hours. However, I think my favorite moments are when we have to take ourselves away from company and have time together.

Keith and I have been very fortunate to receive a lot of visitors that have wanted to meet Eli. We have enjoyed eating with, sharing stories, and hanging out with friends and family. But, low and behold, Eli can not make it through a visit without needing to eat. So, I get to have the pleasure of stealing my baby back from his 'new fans' and whisking him away to a private room where he is all mine. :) Call me selfish, but those moments alone in a quite room, just he and I, are some of the most precious moments for me.

Other Adventures:
Just a few other 'shout outs' to mention to document Eli's first two weeks of life. We have had one pediatrician appointment (tomorrow will be our '2 week check-up), in which Eli discovered himself. There was a mirror along the wall in his room, and he could not stop staring at himself (picture above). He was mesmerized! Heck, if I was that good looking, I wouldn't want to stop staring either.

Also, we went our on first 'walking adventure' with big brother Winston and big sister Dottie. It was a great break for the 'other kiddos', because Eli's crying has taken a toll on them, as well. It was a perfect opportunity for them to clear their minds, pee on everything, and enjoy the outside. Eli, however, didn't get the hang of it until we were almost home. He cried for the entire walk, and when we calmed down outside our door step, we extended our journey. While this was a great idea in theory, it was a REALLY BAD idea for my 'recovery'. I set myself back a good week post-delivery. (note to future mommies: don't push yourself after delivery, even if you think you are better.)

Well, that is it for now (actually, a post that has been piling up). I will do my best to keep everyone updated on our new adventures and so forth. We appreciate everyone's has been amazing!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eli is here!

Well, as I am sure you all know....Eli is here! Yay! I am in love...I am smitten....Eli is wonderful! It was actually, this time, one week ago that Eli was beginning to make his way into my arms. That is right, he is already one week old. They say 'time flies', and that is true. I can't believe he is already that old...and that Keith and I have been newborn parents for one week...and made it!

So, here is the brief (but actually very long) birth story. As you all heard from my last post, that I a trickle on Monday night, and an appointment on Tuesday. What I didn't tell you, is that my midwife said I probably 'wouldn't make it through the weekend' without labor (I didn't want to jinx myself). As the week progressed I became more and more anxious for the little guy to arrive. I suppose my body and mind knew that it was almost time. On Tuesday I took a nice long walk to enjoy the weather and help the process. Then, all day Tuesday and Wednesday I experienced cramping and contractions, but 'no labor'. Wednesday night I felt achy and sick, and then dreamt all night long about going into labor and having my water break. To be honest, every time I woke up to use the restroom I was surprised (and disappointed) I wasn't in labor yet. I guess, I just 'knew'. When I woke up Thursday morning, I had two 'leaks' run down my left and right leg. That was right about the time that I was taking in the winter wonderland that was outside our window.

I called my midwife who asked me to come in for an exam. She concluded that I had a 'rupture' or 'leak' and needed to get checked into the hospital. Keith thought that we had time to go home and clean the house, but that was not the case. We got to the hospital around 9am, and I was given Pitocin around 10am. The pitocin was because I was only 1 cm dilated, and basically had to be induced. I knew at this time, I would be having an epidural! I 'labored' until 2-3pm on pitocin until the midwife got to the hospital. She did an exam to discover I was still only 1cm dilated and had my bag of water. She proceeded to rupture my water, and my contractions went from 'tolerable' to 'intense'. Therefore, it wasn't long after that I was getting my epidural (just a shame that I wasn't dilated more).

Time started to fly as the day went by, the snow continued to fall, and my level of comfort slowly started to disappear. I made such slooooow progress from the afternoon into the night. I was only about 4cm dilated (I think) around 9pm. At this point things were looking dismal, and I was starting to wrap my head around a c-section. However, I was staying optimistic and really had the 'what happens, happens' attitude. Suddenly, it was midnight and the night was not nearly as fun as my day. My family and friends were very tired and worried.

It was around this 'dark hour' that I found light. I suddenly changed my 'what happens, happens' attitude, and changed to 'I am going to do what it takes'. I changed my attitude because I couldn't stand the idea of Eli 'doing his part' and me not doing mine. He was so low in my birth canal and doing such a great job, and it was my body that was not progressing for him to come out. I started saying lots of prayers, and asked for lots of advice. I spent the rest of my night pushing my body to get dilated from 7cm to 10cm, otherwise it was going to be a c-section. (See, they wanted Eli out by 7am, because they considered my water breaking at that time on Thursday). My nurse helped me flip from side to side every 30 minutes and try different positions to sit/lay in. My epidural would wear off here and there, I would get nauseous and sick, and was overall very uncomfortable and nervous.

Finally, it was 5:30am when my midwife showed up to exam me. I couldn't believe it...but I was a 10!!! I pulled it off! I was able to have Eli 'naturally'. Then it got really! Aliza (my midwife) had snuck in the back entrance, and our family didn't know she was there. So, she thought it would be fun if we 'secretly had' Eli and surprised the family. The goal was to deliver Eli without the family having an idea, and surprise them with his arrival.

So, after about 45 minutes of pushing, our Eli was here! I can remember vividly the first few things that I thought when I saw him. First, "I can't believe that baby just came out of my body!". Second, "I can't believe that baby is my son!". Third, "I can't believe he has ALL OF THAT HAIR!". It was a very special and 'aww inspiring' moment. God, is good and makes the most amazing miracles happen in life. He was born at 6:24am on Friday morning, February 12th. He weighed 8lbs and 6.9oz and measured 19in in length.

And the 'fun part'....Before the pushing started, Keith texted the family with a few excuses
to hold them at bay and not try to come in the room. The nurses had the room on 'lock down' so no one would let the news slip on accident. After Eli arrived, Keith and I had a few moments together as a 'new family'. Then, he set out to lobby filled with our friends and family. He proceeded to tell them I was about to undergo a c-section. He told them that I was positive, but wanted to see them before getting prepped for surgery. He, then, proceeded to walk them into my room, where Aliza waited in the corner with a video camera to capture the moment. As they walked in the room and pulled back the curtain, there I was laying in bed holding Eli. The look on their faces was shocked and amazed! They appreciated the surprise after the 24 hours of diminishing anticipation...although made sure to call Keith out for his 'white lie'. It was truly a great experience and fun story to have.

So...that is the story. I know it is long, but I did my best to consolidate a 24 hour of the most important days of my life! I will be updating this when I can to tell you all about my life as a new mother and tell you about my wonderful baby boy. But, I can say this, at least...I love it! God is amazing! He has blessed Keith and I so much, and we have so much to be thankful for. Thank you for all of your prayers and blessings for our family, we truly feel like that have been answered.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Close Call!

So, today is February 9th... Happy Anniversary, honey! Yes, today marks the 2 year anniversary of Keith and I's married life. Ironically, it also marks the 8 year anniversary of our time together. By pure coincidence, Keith and I got married on the same day as our first date, 6 years prior.

Needless to say, I was excited about today. Partly because we get to celebrate our anniversary, and partly because it was another weekly appointment! I know it sounds cheesy, but I am starting to look forward to these like I look forward to my birthday. I was very anxious to hear about my progress and see if Eli was appearing to bump up his scheduled arrival.

It was like any other day walking into the office. However, when I got 'called back'...the reality hit that I won't be getting 'called back' for many more appointments. I am nearing the end of my pregnancy journey. Very truly, my 9 months is almost over. It was almost like I should have had a moment with the nurse, or done an arts and crafts project for them to remember me by. Although, I think Eli's baby picture will probably work a little bit better.

So, it was actually a pretty eventful appointment! That is because last night I thought that my water possibly ruptured! Yep..surprise!! (well, it didn't...but it could have!). I stood up at one point during our 'Dexter' episode and felt a small 'trickle' down my leg. Nothing major, so I didn't freak out, because I knew I had my appointment this morning. The 'trickle'...while extremely small, somewhat continued into the morning. I told this to my midwife, and she was starting to question if it was 'go time'.

She prepped me for the exam, and all signs were starting to point to Keith and I sharing our February 9th anniversary with Eli's birthday! Without getting into a lot of the graphic details, there were things going on with my body that were starting to suggest that Eli could be coming. However, with further investigation (and a painful exam), it was found 'not to be the case'. Don't get me wrong...I am still making excellent progress. Eli is crazy low in my pelvis...even lower from last week. Also, she said that my cervix 'is right there' (and it sounded like a good thing?). However, I am a few items short on the 'labor checklist'. So, it looks like our little guy is going to be hanging out for a little bit longer before his big debut.

It is kind of funny, what a 'close call' I had this morning. Just to know there was a moment in my mind when I was mentally preparing to make 'the call' to Keith and start the preparations to go to the hospital...pretty crazy stuff! It reminds me of my college internship. I had the unbelievable experience of working at a summer internship between my Junior and Senior year. Man, I loved every minute of the experience and wouldn't take it back for the world. But, I can honestly admit that the 'temporary 9 to 5 work world' certainly gave me a great appreciation for my last year at school. So, even if Eli is only giving us a few hours or a few weeks, you can bet that Keith and I will be sure to appreciate it. :)

Footnote: Just have to throw this in. During my very painful 'exam', I had no problem expressing my discomfort. And half way through I said, "yep, yep...I will probably be getting an epidural". Like I have said before....if I am pain...bring on the meds! So, if I can tolerate it...then I will. However, if I can't I am all down for plan B. Just wanted to give you the heads up...because it looks like the distance between point A and point B just got a lot shorter.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Any day now...the end is near!

I feel like I should be in the center of Time Square with a big obnoxious card board sign that says "the end is near!" What is crazy to think, is that despite all of my sarcasm and over reactionary mind set, the above statement is true. Well, assuming that you see 2 weeks left (out of 40) as 'near'....I know I do!

Quite literally, I feel like it is the most exciting time to be alive! Everyday I wake up or go somewhere it is an adventure. I think 'is today the day?'...."is my water going to break in the middle of lunch or a business meeting?". I have to admit that I LOVE surprises. So, despite the fact that we found out the sex of little Eli (which we hope stays true), the idea of 'not knowing' when he is going to come, has certainly given me the rush of adrenaline and surprise-fulfillment I am looking for. The only way I can describe going to sleep and not knowing if tomorrow will be Christmas morning. Just imagine how exciting that would be!?! I really just can't imagine anything else similar.

Additionally, I have to give credit to this 'not knowing' element to my sense of calm before the storm. I suppose I am so caught up in the excitement of all of this, that I haven't given myself a chance to freak out lately. I have a feeling if I was using a 'count down clock' to a particular day, I might be a little bit more anxious as I approached the big day. Therefore, I am guessing the closer I actually get to Feb. 21st with 'no Eli' anxiety might start to increase (just an fyi). I have also had a bunch of people ask if I am 'nervous' or 'scared', and I suppose I am just so much more excited. I feel like the 3rd string quarter back that is just sitting there saying 'put me in the game coach!' I can't wait to give this whole thing a shot. I have heard so much about how your baby 'tells you' what he wants, likes, doesn't like, ect. So...let's get on with it. I want Eli to come out and start bossing me around so I can figure out if I need to pack up our obnoxiously large swing...or install a trapeze system for my lil' monkey.

As far as my 'level of comfort', I'm doing good. I would be lying if I didn't say that things have gotten more uncomfortable for me, but nothing that I can not handle. I am into a full out 'waddle' now-a-days, as the feeling of a bowling ball hangs heavy in my belly. Also, it is more difficult to move my legs up in down (think of putting your pants on in the morning). Additionally, my 'restroom breaks' have increased a great deal...if that was every possible (which means even less sleep through the night). Outside of that, life is good. I have been extra super sweet to Winston, Dottie, and Lucy, as their days as 'only children' come to an end (makes me sad thinking about it). And, I continue to complete little 'pre-Eli' tasks around the house in preperation.

I had an appointment on Tuesday (as I will have one every Tuesday until Eli arrives). As for my progress, it goes like this: 1-2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Also, the really cool part!?! My midwife could feel his head when she did the check! So cool! I have to be honest when I say that I felt 'proud of myself' at this news. This funny since of 'competitiveness' kicks in (ok, probably only me) you approach these appointments. You want to feel like you are progressing. So, as I get news of Eli dropping or being dilated I feel like I want to give myself a pat on the back. Of course, this in NO WAY actually indicates anything for delivery or labor, so I can't let it go to my head. I could be dilated to 3 cm, and still have a March 3rd baby...or be totally effaced, and still require a c-section. So, these 'checks' don't have a whole lot of indication towards the future...but it is still good.

Game day stuff. So, as you know Eli is going to come, when he is good and ready (no scheduled induction). But, when that time does come Keith and I are pretty ready with our bags packed and route to the hospital planned out. I will call my midwife when in labor, and she will show up when I am at 5cm and stay with me until Eli arrives. The hospital we are delivering at is Allen Presbyterian. And, if you want the 'play by play' action, I recommend becoming friends with Keith on Facebook. Of course, phone calls and text messages will be sent, but I see Facebook providing most of the 'game day' action.

Also, as I mentioned before, I am prepared for 1 of 3 things to happen. A) a 'natural' delivery without the use of drugs (if I can tolerate the pain...why not). B) a 'natural' delivery with the use of drugs (if I am in pain...bring on the epidural!). C) a c-section with the use of drugs. Please keep in mind, that neither option is better or worse than the other...just different. I won't be upset with the delivery as long as Eli is brought into this world as safely as possible. So, don't think that any option is a bad one.

Well, that is what I have got for now. I guess we will see if my next appointment has a birth annoucement in it, or more 'pregnancy updates'.