Lucy’s Birth Story

I always thought Lucy would arrive the third week of November. Maybe it was because I was hoping she’d come on the 18th, my dad’s birthday, but for some reason I had this feeling she would arrive sometime during that week.

But, as the week came to a close, I started thinking more and more that not only would she *not* arrive that week but that she would actually be late. So, when I started having contractions that were 5 minutes apart on Friday night, November 20, I figured it was yet another false alarm. After two hours, Joe called the doctor who told us to head to the hospital. On the way there, the contractions became less consistent, which solidified the fact in my mind that it was not real labor, but when we stopped so I could use the restroom, I noticed that they moved to 2 minutes apart every time I walked.

We arrived at the hospital around 1 a.m. on Saturday morning, and though we weren’t timing them anymore, I felt like the contractions had become further apart. We registered and then were taken right up to L&D and, since it was a busy night and the triage room was full, we were put right into a labor room. I was *really* happy about that because I’m not a big fan of getting a pelvic exam with another woman in the room on the other side of the curtain.

My nurse came in and examined me and said that I was still 90 percent effaced but now was 2 cm dilated. I knew I had to be 4 cm in order to be admitted, so I started freaking out a little that I was going to be sent home. I was told to walk around for an hour or so to see if there was any change, and I had to stop every 2 minutes for contractions. I told Joe there was no way I was going to be able to go home if I was contracting that much while walking. Later, Joe told me that while I was in the bathroom the nurse had told him I was right on the edge of being 3 cm and that she thought I was going to be admitted.

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Just after 3 a.m., somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes after I had started walking, the doctor came in to check me again. While I hadn’t seen him much during my prenatal visits, he was the doctor I saw at my first OB visit and he’s always so happy and smiley that I really like him. I squeezed Joe’s hand as he checked me and said a prayer that I wouldn’t be sent home. Then, he said, “She’s a 4. She’s a keeper!”

I don’t think I breathed after he said that, and I started to cry a little realizing that I was going to be meeting my little girl later that day. It was a pretty overwhelming feeling. I had been hooked up directly to the monitor, but the nurse switched me over to the telemetry monitor, which made it easier to walk around without having to unhook the two monitor cords every time I got out of bed. She also put in my IV which would be used for fluids if I chose to have an epidural.

Then, we called our parents. We both had been dying to tell them ever since we arrived at the hospital, but we didn’t want to jinx ourselves and we didn’t want to get their hopes up in case it was another false alarm. When Joe called his dad he said, “This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill.” I was a little less creative and simply said, “I’m in labor!” when my mom answered the phone. Unfortunately, Joe’s mom was in South Carolina to pick up his grandmother for Thanksgiving, so she wasn’t going to be able to head home until later that morning.

Around 5 a.m., I opted for the epidural. I really wanted to go natural, but after having contractions since 10 p.m., I just wasn’t able to handle it any longer. The pain was insane. It was so bad that, even though I knew it wouldn’t happen, I felt like I was going to pass out. I felt horrible about my decision, like it was a cop out, but I knew I had a long way to go and I didn’t think I could make it the rest of the way on my own. The anesthesiologist arrived about 30 minutes later and got to work. She stuck the catheter in my back and did a test run to make sure it was in the right place. It wasn’t. Shortly after she pushed the dose out, my ears started ringing really badly, and I got very lightheaded. She resituated it and tried another test dose, but I had the same reaction. So, she had to take it out and start the process all over again, something I wasn’t really fond of, but luckily it worked.

My parents and brother, and Joe’s dad arrived around 6 a.m. and, after coming in to see us for a few minutes, set up camp in the small waiting area. We tried to nap for a bit. Joe was able to get a little bit of rest, but I really wasn’t able to fall asleep.

I was checked again at 9:30 a.m. and was only at 5 cm, so the nurse started me on pitocin to help me dilate faster. Despite the epidural, I was able to feel the contractions from the pitocin, so the anesthesiologist had to come in and up my medicine to relieve some of the discomfort.

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Around 11 a.m., the nurse checked me again, and I was 7 cm dilated. She decided to call the doctor to come break my water, and while she was at the nurse’s station on the phone with him, my water broke on its own! I thought I would feel a gush, but instead I felt this urge to push, and I began pushing the water out. After my water broke, my blood pressure plummeted to 70/30, and I had to have two doses of epinephrine to bring it back up. That episode also affected Lucy’s heart rate, but luckily that came back up rather quickly.

After my water broke, several nurses came in and setup everything that would be necessary for the delivery. Just before 1 p.m., I called the nurse and told her I was feeling a lot of pressure. She took a quick look and could see Lucy’s head ready to come out. She had another nurse call the doctor, who was up on the postpartum floor, and she told me to start pushing. I pushed once before the doctor arrived and twice with him before Lucy popped out at 1:01 p.m. — all in the span of about 5 minutes. It felt like she just slid out, which I assume is because of the epidural, but I ended up having a 2nd degree tear. I didn’t realize I had torn until I felt the doctor stitching me up. While I was being stitched and cleaned, Joe cut the umbilical cord, and Lucy was placed on my chest. I cried as I held her for the first time (and as she peed on my arm, I might add!), and after about 10-15 minutes, she was taken to be cleaned.

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After she had been cleaned and was given back to me, the nurse took our first family pictures.

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After what seemed like forever to both us and our families, they were let in to meet Lucy. It was so much fun to be able to introduce my little girl to everyone.

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My brother also took some cute pictures of me and Joe with our daughter.

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Joe’s mom and grandmother arrived shortly after everyone was allowed into our room, and it was neat that Nana got to meet her great-granddaughter so soon after her birth.

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The next day, my parents brought my grandmother down to meet her latest great-grandchild.

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Lucy and I were discharged on Monday, and while I was grateful for the time in the hospital to rest and start to recover, I was really happy to be headed home. I never fully realized how much I loved Lucy until I held her and snuggled her. It’s only been a week since her birth, and I cannot imagine our lives without her anymore.

Christmas Songs for Kids

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This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Madacy Entertainment. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m starting my collection of music for Lucy. I received several CDs from friends and at my showers, which I’m ripping onto my computer to save in her own little library. However, I don’t have any Christmas music for her yet. I haven’t even really started looking for children’s Christmas CDs yet, but luckily I found that Amazon has an “MP3 deal” going on right now for the digital album “60 Christmas Carols For Kids“, a collection of of Christmas favorites performed by the Countdown Kids. The deal started on Black Friday, and the digital album that normally retails for $9.49 now is on sale for $3.69, which I think is a fantastic deal. I just wonder if and how I can import the MP3s into iTunes. If not, I’m sure I can burn them onto a CD for Lucy to enjoy as she gets older.

I can’t wait to start buying holiday music for my little girl. To me, the music is one of the best parts of the season, and I’m really excited about sharing it with her. What better way to start her collection with some great children’s songs that she will one day be able to sing along with? What are your kids’ favorite Christmas songs?

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Growing Girl

We had another weight check today at the pediatrician’s office. Lucy gained another 4 ounces, putting her 4 ounces shy of her birth weight. It wasn’t as fast of a weight gain as the first 4 ounces, but we were supplementing with formula at that time and have since stopped doing so. The doctor seemed pleased with the weight gain and said that Lucy is definitely getting enough to eat. That makes me feel a lot better about myself. Even if I only produce as much as I am now, I know that she’s getting plenty and I am able to pump a bit for later.

The doctor told us at that at Lucy’s 6-week checkup she will get her first round of shots — five in all. He said we can split them up and do three then and two a week or two later, but I think I’m leaning toward doing them all at once. I figure if there was a problem giving that many shots at one time then it wouldn’t be done, and why have her go through it twice when we can get them all done at once.

How did you have your child’s vaccines done — all at once or at separate appointments?

Charter Giveaways

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This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Charter Communication. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve blogged before about some of the awesome giveaways Charter has offered to new customers signing up for one or more of their packages like an HDTV-a-day, a Toyota Prius, a new 2010 Chevy Camaro 2SS and Xbox 360s. Charter now is offering gift cards worth up to $200 from major retailers in electronics, clothing, home, accessories, and restaurants (and who couldn’t use gift cards at this time of year when holiday shopping is in full swing?) as well as great deals on their packages. And, beginning tomorrow, Charter is starting its 38 days of specials with different giveaways every day, such as iPods, camcorders, TVs, GPS units, web cams, photo frames, among others. Each day features a different item, and there are multiple chances to win each day.

There also is paraphernalia from hit cable shows — such as Dexter, The Tudors and Californication — to be given away, as well as box sets of hit HBO shows like Big Love and Entourage. Want to keep up with the prizes being given away every day? Check out Charter’s Daily Deal Web Site or become a fan of Charter on Facebook, as Charter officials will be updating their Facebook fan page every day during the holiday season.

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Discouraged

It’s been 8 days now since I’ve been nursing and pumping, and I’m getting really frustrated and discouraged. It looks like my milk has come in and, while Lucy nurses a minimum of 15 minutes and sometimes closer to 30 minutes, she still seems hungry afterward. And, when I pump, I’m lucky if I can get 1 ounce per side. Usually, it’s more along the lines of 1/2 ounce per side. I wonder if at this point, this is the best I will be able to do. It’s very discouraging. I suppose I should look at it as being able to provide for her a little, but I wish I could produce more.

One Week Old

Dear Lucy,
It’s hard to believe you’ve already been in our lives for one week! It seems like just yesterday we were meeting you for the first time. We fall more in love with you every day and could spend all day, every day just staring at your adorable little face.

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I love the way you snuggle up to me and your daddy and fall asleep against us. I love the way you smile while you dream. Sometimes, you squeak when you smile which makes it sound like you’re laughing. I always wonder what you’re dreaming about.

At one week old, you’re the best baby we could have imagined. You sleep most of the day and really only get fussy when you’re hungry. You usually don’t even cry when you need your diaper changed! Getting you to fall asleep is another story. You fight hard at bed time, but when you eventually give in and fall asleep, you are dead to the world until morning when we have to wake you up. We love the fact that you’re already sleeping through the night, and if that’s the reward, we’ll take the difficulty in getting you to fall asleep. 🙂

You also sleep in the most awkward positions. I never understand how they can be comfortable, but they must be.

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Your facial expressions always make us laugh, and we enjoy taking pictures of you and coming up with funny captions for them.

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We also celebrated our first holiday with you this week — Thanksgiving — and what an appropriate holiday it was since we thank God every day for bringing you into our lives. Our lives will never be the same, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

Love,
Mommy