Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

My New Niece

Or is it Neice? I always muck up the spelling on that one...

Anyway...Baby Nora was born on Wednesday, July 22 via scheduled C-Section at 38 weeks in order to avoid complications that would likely occur if my sister was to deliver the old-fashioned way. Two weeks early and she was still 7lbs, 14oz and 20.5 inches long!!!

I've been spending a lot of time at the hospital, but today, for the first time, I brought Aaralyn (and my husband) along with me! Aaralyn loves her new cousin!

Baby is slightly jaundiced, but not enough to need any special treatment. Hopefully both mom and baby will be released tomorrow...keep your fingers crossed!

Flashback Friday

Me, about 2 years ago, showing off my new body, thanks to Weight Watchers! Trying to get back to this now...ha ha ha!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Milestones this week...

In the past week or so, Aaralyn has hit the following milestones

1. Discovered her hands (she stares at them cross-eyed, and appears to be talking to them. So cute!)

2. Began smiling, 100%, definitely for real (sometimes on command!)

Other things she's done this week:

1. Had her first time visiting someone at the hospital (aka meeting her future husband, Brody)

2. Tested out her (soon-to-be) cousin's new nursery (Auntie is 38 weeks pregnant)

3. Had yet ANOTHER visit to the fabulous store, Once Upon a Child, where we ran into Auntie Taylor and Aidan!

Has been a great week! With more fun to come!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Aaralyn's first trip to...the bar?!?!

No, I'm not a horrible Mommy.

I just found out today, while attending a pre-wedding party for a couple of friends, that one of our local outdoor bars is actual quite a nice pub-type place during the daytime. Yummy food and a nice atmosphere - I'd never even thought to check it out!

Aaralyn was, of course, a hit! I only hope that she didn't distract too much from the guests of honour! Unfortunately, my husband Stuart had to work so he wasn't able to attend. (Being married to someone who works the night shift - and ONLY the night shift! - is quite a challenge, especially with a new baby!) I will have to remember to tell him all of the wonderful things that people said about our little one!

The gang:

The star of the show (in my eyes at least!):

It's 4:40am...

...and I can't sleep.

Baby is asleep after a fussy night, so now would DEFINITELY be the opportune time to catch some shut eye...but alas, I am too wired.

God Bless Katie and her amazing blog to keep me occupied through my insomnia :)

In other news....

...isn't she precious?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Five Motherhood pictures...

1. Meeting your baby for the first time

2. Taking baby for outings, and listening to all of the comments such as "what a BEAUTIFUL baby you have!"

3. Realizing that baby actually IS smiling at you! (it's not "just gas" anymore!)

4. Three words: Baby's first swim

5. Cuddles and Kisses

I so love being a mom :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Unsolicited Advice for New Moms - Top 10

*Disclaimer: I apologize to any adoptive mothers, as this post refers a lot to birth-related ailments. Still, hope you might find it an interesting read!*

1. You will still look pregnant after the baby is born.

2. Even though you just birthed a 7+ pound baby, plus a placenta, lost a ton of fluid, etc, all of which should add up to almost 20 pounds, you MAY leave the hospital, step on the scale, and only be down FIVE FREAKING pounds.

3. If you plan to breastfeed, know that it is hard at the start. It gets better quickly for many people, but that first week or two can be brutal. Do not give up. It WILL get easier.

4. Formula is not bad or evil. If you can't breastfeed, or if it becomes too much for you to handle emotionally, do not feel guilty.

5. Speaking of crying...have you heard about the BABY BLUES? They are very real and can be very distressing. They are normal, and can leave just as suddenly as they go on. It does not matter how much you want your baby or how happy you think you should could very well feel like crap the first week or two (or more!) home.

6. Adjusting to a new baby is hard, so let that be your one and only focus. Do not care about the housework, or cooking balanced meals for other people.

7. Allow visitors at the hospital, and at home. It will help you to feel less isolated during that "baby blues" stage. And accept help from people! If your mom wants to dust for you, let her at it!

8. "Pregnancy Brain" only goes away to make room for "Mommy Brain". Expect to get even dumber :)

9. You might be surprised at how you feel following the birth of the baby. I was not nearly as sore as I thought I'd be - but boy, was I STIFF! I felt like an 80-year-old woman each time I stood up! Take it easy, and don't push yourself!

10. Be nice to your nurses. If your lucky, you'll get ones as fabulous and helpful as I did while in the hospital.

Introducing Baby Aaralyn!

My due date was May 17th, 2009

I had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday, May 21. We spoke about delivery, and scheduled an induction for Tuesday, May 26.

Friday, May 22 - at 7:30am, I realized that I was having pain in my lower back that was coming at timeable intervals. All day, the small contractions came on every 7-20 minutes, and lasted about 30 seconds. I went to bed just after midnight, with no major change.

Saturday, May23 – I began waking up every ten minutes with a contraction. The labour was still ALL in my back, and by 5:30am, I realized that the pain was becoming more and more intense, and lasting longer, and that I would probably be having my baby either that day or the next!

By 6:30am, I was getting very bothered by the contractions and could not sleep anymore. I ran and bath and decided to labour in the water for awhile. It helped to relax me a little bit, but it was too difficult to get into a comfortable position due to the “ back labour”, so I migrated to the couch where I tried different positions to get the pressure off of my back.

At 8:30am, I started having a LOT of trouble handling the pain – but the contractions didn’t seem to be getting any closer together (still eight to ten minutes apart) . I ate some cereal to give myself some energy, and tried sitting in the bath again. This time, it did not help at all. By 9:30, I had had enough and decided that I was going to head to the hospital soon. I showered, and started timing the contractions once again. Luckily, at this point they were close to five minutes apart!

10:00am – I woke up my husband (who I had not yet informed of the morning’s events) and told him that it was baby time! We finished packing the hospital bag (which had mostly been packed in advance) and got ready to head off.

10:30am – I threw up. Perhaps having breakfast wasn’t the best idea.
10:35am – off to the hospital! (contractions still five minutes apart!)

At 10:45, we arrived at the hospital. They sent me to a room to be monitered, to check to see how dilated I was, and to determine whether or not to officially admit me. As soon as the monitors were hooked up to me, I had a contraction, and the baby’s heart rate dropped quite a bit. Luckily, the baby handled the following contractions much better. Around 11:00, nurse Carole came to check my cervix, and I was 3cm dilated. Despite the timing of the contractions, I was admitted!

I got moved to a Labour & Delivery room where I would stay until after the baby arrived. My nurse went on her lunch break, and another nurse came in to check on me. She brought out a “ birthing ball” for me to sit on to help with the pain of the contractions (it did help a bit). She hooked up my IV (although it took her two attempts – the first time she “ blew” my vein and my wrist filled with fluid..ew).
Another nurse came back and asked me if I needed pain relief. I explained to her my concerns regarding waiting for the epidural ( had been told that I couldn't get one yet, yet my own doctor said I could have one whenever I wanted). She decided to go see where the anaesthesiologist was. The “epidural man” arrived fifteen minutes later. At 1:00pm, I had my epidural.

At 2:00pm, my cervix was checked again. Only 4cm! I was told that I would probably end up getting Oxytocin later to speed up labour.

Then, my epidural began to “ fail”. At first it wasn’t too bad, but after about half an hour, the pain became more intense. I was only feeling pain on one side of my back, and it wasn’t quite as bad as it had been earlier – but still, it was bad enough. The nurse gave me more medicine in my epidural drip.

4:00pm – I was 6-7cm dilated. No Oxytocin necessary. My doctor was not on call this weekend, so the attending doctor broke my water to move things along even more.

My epidural still wasn’t working, so the nurses had me lie on one side of my body, then another, because apparently epidurals do work a bit by gravity and they wanted to make sure that the medication was being distributed evenly. That didn’t work too well, so they gave me the maximum dose of medication into the epidural line. Eventually, this did the trick.

At 6pm, the nurse checked me again, and I was fully dilated! The baby’s head was still a bit high in the birth canal, so there was no need to start pushing yet.

7:00pm –the nurse checked me and said that the baby’s head was very low, and that she was going to go call the doctor.

At 7:35pm, she came back to say that the doctor was on his way, and that I could start to push! I barely felt the need to push, so the nurse simply told me when to. I pushed a few times before the doctor came in. In between contractions, I was comfortable enough to be talking and joking with the doctor (he even razzed my sister about wanting to have a drug-free birth).

Shortly after 8:00, the doctor went over to the intercom and paged the Nurses’ station and said “ I need a baby nurse in here”. He turned around to me, putting on a clean gown, and said “Okay, and on the next push you will be delivering your baby”. I didn’t really believe him – it felt surreal. I had no idea I was that close to pushing. It had only been 35 minutes, and many people push for much longer! But, he was right.

At 8:11pm, I delivered my baby girl, Aaralyn Mollie Elisabeth – born on my late grandmother’s birthday!