Tuesday, June 14, 2011

She's here!!

She's here!! I can hardly believe that our newest little angel is 2 weeks old today. The days have flown by so far. I'm pretty late in updating the blog, but I have had NO time to do anything other than be a mom and recover from surgery, so I have an excuse! Let me back track a bit...

On Monday, May 30th around noon, I started to have contractions. They weren't very regular, but they were consistent. We had plans to go to Brad's parents' house for dinner, but he was nervous to do anything with me in possible labor. I called the doctor on duty and she assured me that we were safe to leave the house, but to call her cell phone if the contractions became regular or stronger.

We went to their house and had a nice meal (steak, baked potatoes, etc.) and then came home. Brad bathed Emma because, by then the contractions were somewhat stronger and more frequent. I read her bedtime stories to her, said prayers with her, and put her to bed. We slept fairly well until about 4:00 AM when I woke up with even stronger contractions. I timed them - every 3 minutes. They still weren't as strong as I knew they needed to be, and I convinced myself to try to sleep. There was NO way my body would let me sleep through contractions if they were strong enough to warrant me going to the hospital, right?

I had an OB appointment already scheduled the next morning with the same doctor that was on duty the night before. I took Brad with me and we had the bags in the car, just in case. My NST (non-stress test that I've been having twice a week) showed strong contractions every 3-4 minutes - a definite labor pattern. The doctor checked me and I was 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. We were off to the hospital!

We drove straight across the street to the hospital and got checked in. The nurses took turns stabbing and poking and prodding me - 3 needle sticks to try to start the IV. Needless to say, it hurt like hell. We got to the hospital around 1:00 and I was in surgery by 3:30! It was the most surreal experience ever. It was also slightly scary.
Once my epidural was placed (and worked like a charm, thank GOD!), my heartrate dropped. So did Abby's. They had me switch positions a few times and started me on oxygen. A few medications later and all was well. When my doctor came in to check on me before surgery I asked her about the decelerations in Abby and she said it was no big deal and not bad at all. I felt much better.

I was wheeled into surgery and Brad met me there. It seemed like just a few minutes and we heard the most beautiful sound in the world - Abby's sweet little voice. I cried like a baby before I ever even saw her.
The doctors cleaned her up and wrapped her in a blanket and brought her straight to me. I was worried that, having a c-section, I wouldn't get to hold her at first. I was wrong - I was able to wrap my arms around my sweet girl and kiss her all over. The nurses took Abby and Brad to the recovery room to give Abby a bath and weigh her while I was being stitched up.

Within 30 minutes we were back together again and I was able to nurse her for the first time. It was then that I heard her weight - 7lbs 11oz and 19.5 inches long!! She was a peanut! She was born at 37 weeks and 3 days on May 31st. They checked her blood sugar (because of my gestational diabetes) and she got 2 consecutive scores that were too low, so they had to give her a bottle of formula and take her to the nursery for a few hours. I was crushed, but knew that I had no choice - I asked. My heart rate was too high in recovery, so they kept me a little longer and consulted my OB. More on that later.

We were brought to our room, where my mom was waiting. We got to visit for a little while and they finally brought Abby back to me. She was the tiniest little thing I've ever seen! Her feet are honestly like baby doll feet - I don't think that socks exist that would stay on her. Have I mentioned, she looks JUST like her mama?? I've got to scan my hospital picture from when I was born - we look like twins. I must admit, it's nice that I finally have one child that resembles me ;) I got to nurse her again and just hold her and bond for a long time. They checked her blood sugar again and it was fine, so she was off the hook!

Brad stayed with me each night. That wasn't our initial plan, but it is what ended up happening. He went home to put Emma to bed each night, but then came back to the hospital to stay. Emma got to come the next day to meet her new baby sister. It was the most precious experience, getting to see her face light up - she was BEYOND thrilled! I am so happy for her and for what she has now in Abby. They are both such blessings.

Emma kept saying "I hold it?" and looking at Abby, so she got to hold her baby sister right away. I think she's as much in love with Abby as we are.
Brad and his Dad and sister took Emma down to McDonald's for her first Happy Meal while the girls visited. My mom took Emma home that night (to our house) and got her to bed - the only person EVER to do that other than Brad or I. Brad was a tad bit sad. He was struggling with feeling very torn between needing to be with Emma and needing to stay with me and Abby. It all worked out well though. His sister took excellent care of Emma at our house while we were gone.

As I mentioned before, my heart rate was a little high in the hospital. My OB contacted my cardiologist (that I saw only when pregnant with Emma and having the same issue). He came twice to the hospital to check in and run some tests. He doesn't feel that it's anything to worry about, but wants me to have a follow-up EKG in a month or 2 to compare.

We were sent home on Friday around lunch time and were SO happy to go! Abby was down to 7lbs. 1 oz. and had a touch of jaundice. They kept checking her jaundice levels and scaring me to death, but they let us go anyway.
Emma was overjoyed to see her sister again! She calls her "baby sister" and lights up every time she sees her. Not even a hint of jealousy so far!! Emma unfortunately got a fever of 102 a few days ago, so we had to limit their exposure for a few days. She's back to her old self now though!

Abby is such an angel baby. She's laid back and easy going. She only fusses when her diaper needs to be changed or she's hungry. She seriously never cries. She's the perfect baby! She's an excellent nurser and loves to eat, now that she's coming out of the "sleepy slug" phase. She scared us a bit at her doctor's appointment. She dropped down to 6lbs 11 oz and her jaundice wasn't going away. Luckily, one more weight check and a heel stick later, she was gaining weight.

I can't express in words how tiny she is to us! Maybe it's just because Emma was such a big girl (9lbs at birth), but she's so small!! She's like a little baby doll. We have to fold down the front of newborn diapers!
Lots of people have asked me about my recovery. After experiencing a 4th degree tear with Emma, and a scheduled (somewhat!) c-section with Abby, I have a bit of "birth experience." I can now verify, the recovery this time around has been MUCH better!! I was off of all pain killers by the end of the first week, and am now only slightly sore when I move. I would do it again in a second. No doubt about it.

Abby's been sleeping on my chest as I type this, but is starting to wake up, so I'll end this with some pictures. More later!!