Monday, December 26, 2011

Three Months

 Merry Christmas blogosphere!  Once again, I'm a little late.  Stella was three months old on Friday.  Can you believe she just keeps growing?  She's been into her 3-6 month clothes for a few weeks now.  I was excited to make the change because she has some really cute outfits.  But, when she started wearing the bigger clothes, I was also a little sad to realize she would never wear those smaller clothes again.  It's not like me leaving my regular clothes behind for a few months when I moved on to maternity clothes during my pregnancy.  I knew I would be back in those clothes eventually (and it feels so great!).  No.  She will NEVER wear those clothes again.  It's a little sad.  But, life goes on and she keeps growing.  In fact, she's growing very well and getting quite chunky as you can see in these pictures.  Her doctor was very impressed with her weight gain at her last check up.

Here she is with her Aunt Tammy just after Thanksgiving.  Those cheeks are very kissable (Stella's, I mean).

And tolerating tummy time.  This has actually been getting a little more fun over the last month.  Not really for her, but for me.  I get to see her getting stronger and starting to push up on her little arms and it's fun to see her grow.  She likes it about the same as she always has.  For only a few minutes at a time.

Since we didn't get many pictures of Stella on her blessing day due to inclement weather outside and horrible lighting inside, I did a little photo shoot of her in her blessing dress a couple weeks later.  Here she is showing off her left hook.

I got out of the shower a few days ago and saw this.  Little Stella asleep in her bouncy seat with her bow slipped down over her eyes.  It made me laugh.  I don't know at what point the bow slipped down - before or after she fell asleep, but she didn't complain so I like to think it was after.

And that says a lot about Stella.  She doesn't complain in general.  She's a pretty easy-going, mellow baby and she's great.  This last month she's started to pay more attention to her toys and swats at them and reaches for them all the time now.  She can hold them in her hand if we put them in it, but she doesn't really realize she's holding it.  She recognizes us and our voices.  In fact, the first Sunday in December, we got to church and sat down just as the meeting was starting.  Stella was drowsy and her eyes were droopy, but she wasn't asleep yet.  She was starting to doze off in her car seat when Mr. Frisby got up to start the meeting as it was his turn to conduct.  As soon as she heard her daddy's voice through the microphone, she perked up and listened for a few minutes.  It was pretty cute.  She's also started laughing this month, though she's very stingy with them.  She's given me a couple little laughs here and there and she giggled quite a bit at her Aunt Gaylene, but that's about it.  She does have a favorite toy, though.  It's a little yellow lion that squeaks when you squeeze it.  Without fail, she smiles at that little lion whenever you give it a squeeze.  It's adorable.  She also rolls onto her side all the time now when I lay her down on her back to play.  And, she's also discovered how much fun it is to watch Scout playing.  She just sits there smiling while she watches the dog running around playing with her toys.  Again - it's adorable.  We just love watching this little girl grow and learn.  She's the best!

And, although, it's a couple days after her three month mark, here's a picture of our little cutie all ready for church on Chrismas Day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Was Not Cut Out To Be A Pioneer

I know I said in my last post that the next one would be about Stella, but I had a very interesting morning and thought I might share what happened.  It involves chasing a bird around my house.  Here's how it all went down.

I went outside to put a letter in the mailbox.  I left the door open so Scout could watch me (she likes to know where I'm going).  I told her to stay at the door which she's very good about doing.  As I got to the mailbox, I heard her come running out.  So, I looked over just in time to see her scare a little bird out of a bush and then to see that little bird make a beeline for the open door.  "Oh crap," I thought.  "That bird did NOT just fly into my house!"  (As a little bit of background, I do not like birds).  I headed back to the house and told Scout to go back inside, which she did.  Fortunately, she hadn't seen where the bird went and was oblivious to the fact that her desired prey was now trapped inside the house.  I cautiously went inside the house, looking up at all the ceilings and light fixtures as I made my way to each room.  I shut all the closet doors and then the bedroom and bathroom doors as I made my way through the house looking for the bird.  I wasn't entirely sure it had actually gone in the house, so after several minutes I began to relax thinking it didn't make it in.  I went in to change the baby's diaper and in the middle of the diaper change, I heard a small ruckus involving Scout out in the kitchen.  I finished the diaper change and headed out to see what was going on.  Scout was by the big window in the kitchen jumping up and down and looking outside.  She was clearly excited about something.  I got close to the sliding glass door that goes into the backyard and saw lots of feathers on the ground.  Obviously the bird was inside.  I figured that the bird must have tried to go out the sliding glass door and Scout saw it.  She tried to catch it which sent the bird to the other window.  I knew it couldn't have gotten out, but Scout didn't.  She thought it had escaped and was anxious to get outside to look for it.  I let her out and began searching for the bird.

Meanwhile, I sent a text to Mr. Frisby to let him know what was going on.  I soon spotted the bird hiding out between some shopping bags that are between the wall and the kitchen cart in our kitchen.  I asked Mr. Frisby what he thought I should do.  He said I should try to catch it (yeah, right!).  Then he suggested I just open the sliding glass door and shoo it out.  Fortunately, the baby was happy playing in her room with all of this going on.  I brought Scout inside and shut her in our bedroom because I knew things would not end well for the bird if she was around. I then approached the little bird and with a pole (because I was not about to get close enough for it to peck my eyes out) I started poking the bags to get the bird to move.  It hopped down to the floor and starting hopping around.  I started prodding it a little with the pole, trying to move it toward the door.  Stupid bird wasn't having any of it.  It kept hopping in the opposite direction.  Then it started to make use of its wings - big problem.  It flew over close to the front door.  So, I opened the front door and again tried to prod it over.  No dice.  Stupid bird then headed down the dark hallway (good thing I had shut all the doors).  I got a bag and tried to coax the bird into it.  Didn't work.  That's when the bird really remembered it could fly and it flew right up to perch on our Christmas Tree.  Of course, at that point, I decided I needed some photographic documentation of this little guy.

Yep.  There he is.  Looking quite festive, don't you think?  I was sort of at a loss for what to do at that point.  Then the bird made it easy for me.  He flew to the back of the tree and went into hiding somewhere inside.  I couldn't find him.  I looked and looked and looked, but that little fella was hidden well.  After a little while, I gave up.  I had things to do.  I informed Mr. Frisby that he would need to take care of the situation when he got home.  I let Scout out and told her there was a bird she needed to find.  She didn't really get it.  She could tell something was up, though, and stayed pretty alert.  A little while later, I was in the kitchen and Scout was laying on the couch.  All of a sudden, she jumped down and ran over to the tree.  The bird must have moved.  It was pretty awesome to watch.  Scout was army crawling around under the tree, by the tree stand, around the gifts.  She was on the hunt!  Fortunately, the baby had fallen asleep at this point, so I didn't have to worry about her for the moment.

Right about that time, the doorbell rang.  Of course, Scout ran over to see who it was, forgetting about the little bird.  I answered the door to a salesman from a company that does home repairs.  He was quite chatty and actually had some relevant information.  While Scout and I were occupied at the door, I guess the bird decided it was an ideal time to make a run for it.  Problem is there was nowhere for it to run.  I heard the little bells on the tree garlands ring and I knew the bird was on the move.  Seconds later, I heard a thud and I knew it had flown into the sliding glass door.  At this point, Scout was getting bored with the salesman, but I didn't want to unleash her on the bird.  I glanced back at the back door and saw the little bird lying on the ground with its feet sticking up in the air.  It didn't seem to be moving.  I kept a hold of Scout and waited for the salesman to finish.  Finally he left.  I took Scout back to our bedroom, put her inside and shut the door.  I cautiously approached the bird and I could see its chest still moving.  I figured maybe it was just stunned, so I grabbed a bag, prodded the bird inside with the pole, went out onto the back patio and slid the bird out of the bag.  It just laid on the concrete with its little feet twitching.  I let Scout out of our room and called Mr. Frisby.  He didn't answer.  So, Scout and I just watched the bird twitching away outside.  I couldn't tell if it was coming to or dying.  Scout didn't care.  She just wanted at that bird and was really upset that I wouldn't let her outside.

A few minutes later, Mr. Frisby called back and I explained to him what had happened.  I told him I didn't know if the bird was coming to or dying.  He said I should give it a few minutes and see how it was doing.  "It's been a few minutes," I said.  "It's probably been 20 or 30 minutes."  He said the bird probably broke its neck when it hit the door and it wasn't going to survive.  He then suggested I put it out of its misery.  "You're joking," I thought.  But, I knew he wasn't.  And I knew he was right.  So, I asked what I should do.  He said, "here's what you need to do - you're not going to like it."  I said, "I'm not smashing it."  All the while, I have ideas going through my head of how to kill a bird and I'm trying to figure out which method I would actually be able to carry out.  He said, "just put it in a bag and then drop one of the heavy logs on it." (We're taking out a tree in our backyard and have a number of logs suitable for killing a little bird).  I thought about this suggestion.  My stomach was doing some impressive flips at this point.  But, I couldn't think of anything better.  So, I said, "okay.  I'll see what I can do."  I then hung up with Mr. Frisby and headed outside with a bag.  At this point, the bird was clearly not going to recover, so I knew that it really would be better to kill it and end its suffering.  But, I was not excited about what was ahead.  I pushed the bird into the bag with the pole and flattened the bag as much as I could.  I went over to the pile of logs and got the smallest one I could find.  I went back over to the bag, held the log over it, shut my eyes, and dropped the log.  I looked at the bag.  It was still moving.  "Oh crap," I thought.  "I have to do it again!"  Stupid curved log!  It was curved enough that the middle part didn't hit the ground when I dropped it and, therefore, didn't smash the bird.  I examined the log and found a knot that stuck out more.  At this point I just wanted the whole thing to be over, so I quickly held the log over the bag with the knot directly over where the bird was and dropped it.  When I picked the log back up, I knew it was over.  I quickly put the log back, grabbed the bag, chucked it in the garbage and went back inside.  And, as I headed in, I thought, "I could never have been a pioneer!  There's a reason I was born in this day and age."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Finished Nursery

This post is nearly a month overdue.  But, I have seldom been on time since having a baby, so why start now?  The finishing touches on the nursery are done and I thought it would be fun to share.  First, the bumper pads.  My mom got them done before the baby arrived, but I just haven't gotten around to posting pictures.  I think they turned out pretty sweet.

 The inside of the bumper pad

 The outside with the velcro flowers to attach them together

My mom did a great job, as she always does.  Next is what I put on the wall above the crib.  After much contemplation, I decided that I wanted to do something with the lyrics to my favorite primary song, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me".  So, I contacted my sister-in-law, Hilary, who is a graphic designer.  I told her my thoughts and asked her to design some artwork and then gave her creative control of the project.  This was the result.

She did an amazing job and it looks great.  I was super excited with how it turned out.  You should probably click on the picture to make it bigger so you can really see what it looks like.

So, now the nursery is done.  And I love it.  And next I will post about Stella because she is the best!

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Two-Month Old Has Roots

Check it out.  Look closely at the part of her hair that I'm pulling back.  There's a distinct line in Stella's hair.  The top is the red she's had since birth.  The bottom is the blonde/strawberry blonde that's coming in.

Enjoy it now folks.  I don't think this baby's red hair is gonna last!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Two Months

So, I'm a day late.  Stella was two months old yesterday.  Things have been a little busy getting ready for Thanksgiving.  Anyway, on to life with a two month old.
Cute, isn't she?  Yes, she is.  I can say this with some authority based on the amount of comments I get from perfect strangers when we're out and about.  She gets looks and comments from people everywhere we go about how cute she is and how awesome her hair is.  This helps me to know that I'm not just biased.  Am I bragging?  Yes.  Yes I am.

Here she is with Grandma and Scout on Halloween.  She was a pink kitty.  Scout was a banana split.

And bath time.  She likes her baths as long as the water is warm enough.  If it's not warm enough, she cries.  If the temp is right, she loves it.  We were finally able to photographically document her smile as well.  She's been smiling for weeks, but never when we had the camera out.  Finally she gave us a good smile for the camera.

We blessed Stella last Sunday.  She was a champ.  Awake and alert and not a peep from her during the whole blessing.  And, of course, there was an audible "aww" from the congregation when Jared held her up afterward.

This little girl keeps us smiling, even on her bad days.  Fortunately for us, those bad days are few and far between.  I've hesitated to talk about what a good baby she is because people get mad when I do.  They ask how long she sleeps and if she cries a lot and then they get mad when I say she usually goes 5-7 hours at night, wakes up to eat, then goes back to sleep for another 3-4 hours.  And, no she doesn't cry very much.  Only if she's hungry or needs a diaper change.  Yes, she's been a great baby and yes, I realize how lucky we are.  It's been fun to watch her become more and more aware of her world and the things around her over the last month.  She's often content to just lay on a blanket on her back and look around at everything.  She's becoming more interested in her toys.  She can't hold them or play with them yet, but she looks at them and follows them with her eyes if I move them back and forth.  She's found her hands, too.  She often puts her fist in her mouth if she doesn't have a paci and she's started to just look at her hands and fingers every now and then.  She also continues to grow and she's filling out.  She's over 12 pounds now and she'll soon be moving on to her 3-6 month clothes.  She is adorable and we love her to pieces.  Happy Thanksgiving from our two month old Cutie Pie!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

One Month

Photo courtesy of Camera+.  Don't know what Camera+ is?  It's an awesome app for the iPhone.  Don't have Camera+?  Get it.

Stella is one month old today.  I've been thinking about how different things are for us with her around.  It's amazing how drastically life can change in a matter of moments.  One moment, I was doing my thing with a baby in my belly.  Still living life essentially as I had been used to.  Jumping in the car and going places when I needed/wanted to.  Listening to whatever music I wanted to.  Eating when I was hungry.  Sleeping in.  Keeping the house relatively clean.  Walking the dog every day and exercising regularly when it was convenient for me.  Going to bed at night when I felt like it.  Doing only a few loads of laundry every couple of weeks.  Watching a TV show uninterrupted.  Life was pretty good.  In seconds, all of that was over.

Our lives pretty much did a 180 in the blink of an eye.  All of a sudden, little Stella was here.  And, all of a sudden, our lives completely revolved around this little one.  Instead of toting Stella around in my belly, I get to tote her around in her car seat.  Or in my arms.  And she's heavy.  Now I jump in the car and go places only after Stella is fed and happy and only when I really need something.  One of my favorite songs these days is the groo-vay version of London Bridges Falling Down that plays on her swing.  It gets me be-bopping my head every time it comes on.  I eat when I have my arms free now.  I sleep when Stella sleeps.  The house has burp rags, receiving blankets, and other baby paraphernalia strewn about.  I walk the dog (and Stella) only when the baby is happy and ready to go and I'm not too tired.  And exercising regularly?  Well, I'll get there.  I go to bed as soon as Stella is down for the night.  Be it 9 pm or 1 am.  I do at least a couple loads of laundry a week - more if she's been particularly explosive with her bowel movements or spit ups.  And as for watching a TV show uninterrupted - well, thank goodness for Hulu and DVRs.

But, life is still good.  Even though it's gotten a little (or a lot) crazy and my life now revolves around a tiny person that can't walk or talk or do anything for herself, life is wonderful when I get to watch this little gal grow and develop and start seeing and understanding the world.  She smiles now.  It's legit, too.  Not just gas or unconscious muscle movements.  She doesn't do it often, but every once in a while she just stops and looks at me and gets an unmistakable smile on her face.  And it melts my heart every time.  She's the perfect little subject for me to practice my weak photography skills on.  I can never take too many pictures of the cutest little baby ever!

What a month it has been.  The days sometimes seem long, but this month has gone by at an astounding pace.  I feel like we just barely left the hospital with her.  But, time marches on and our little girl is growing and changing so fast.  I find myself already missing the first few days with her at home and the magical newborn stupor we were in.  But, I'm also very excited for the months ahead and the exciting times it will be to watch her grow and develop.

All grown up and ready for church!
Happy one month, little Stella.  We love you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Growing Stella

Stella had her two week check up yesterday. She is definitely growing. She's up to 9 lbs now and has added a half inch to her height. I'm trying to squeeze her into her newborn size clothes for a couple more days so she'll actually be able to wear all the ones she has. But, very soon we'll be moving on to the 0-3 month size. And, that's okay because I was looking in her drawers today and she's got some really cute clothes ready and waiting!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stella At Home

Baby Stella is two weeks old now and we're all adjusting to life with a newborn.  Poor Scout has really had it rough.  Her whole life has been flipped upside down.  But, she's taking it like a champ, slowly adjusting, and she loves little Stella.  Mr. Frisby and I are also adjusting.  Things have been crazy, especially with the lack of sleep, but we're loving our little girl.  And, of course, Stella has been adjusting to life outside my belly.  She's also taking it like a champ and has even had a few 5 hour stretches between feedings that allow me a solid 4 hour block of sleep.  She's also had some 2 hour stretches between feedings that allow me pretty much no sleep.  But all in all, she eats well, she sleeps well, she poops exceptionally well, and she makes us smile all the time.  I am slightly afraid for Mr. Frisby to go back to work on Monday, but I think everything will be fine.  I still think it's just a little crazy that I actually have a daughter and that that tiny little creature was inside me just a couple weeks ago.  Hooray for babies!  And, now I will shamefully use my blog to photo-brag about said awesome daughter of mine.

Sleeping peacefully after we got home from the hospital.

Daddy loves her!

After a bath

Look at all of her luxurious red hair!  We'll see how long it lasts.

Scout supervising a diaper change.

We love our little Stella!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stella in the Hospital

Another long post.  Skim read if you want.  But, again, I wanted to document the experience.

Usually when babies are born, the pushing process squeezes their lungs and gets out any fluids or mucus that's there from their time in the womb.  Because our little Baby (still not Stella yet) came all in one push, this didn't happen.  As a result, they had to suction out her lungs and really get her crying in the delivery room to try to clear them.  After they had worked with her for a few minutes and bathed and diapered her, she seemed to be doing better.  So, after everything was taken care of in the delivery room, we made it to our postpartum room around 12:30 am Saturday morning.  Mr. Frisby and I talked a little about which name we would choose for her, but decided to sleep on it and decide for sure in the morning.  We spent that first night with Baby in our room, doing our best to help her get a good night's sleep and rest up ourselves.  Sometime around 5 am, the nurse came to get Baby for her newborn hearing screening.  She came back around 6 am without Baby and with the Pediatrician.  The doctor informed us that Baby was still having some trouble breathing and that her stomach was very distended.  She said she didn't think it was anything serious and that it was probably just stuff Baby had swallowed/inhaled during delivery, but they wanted to keep her in the nursery where they could do an x-ray and monitor her to be sure it wasn't anything else.  They said we could go to see her in the nursery whenever we wanted and they would update us after they did some more tests.

We took all of this information in and tried to settle back in for a little more sleep as it was still very early.  However, with Baby gone, this was very difficult for me to do.  A little after 8 am, another pediatrician came to give us an update.  The x-ray had shown a couple of cloudy spots in her lungs, but this is often normal in newborns, so they would just need to repeat the x-ray the next day to see if the spots cleared.  They had also gotten a lot of stuff out of her little tummy and it was looking much better.  However, they wanted to wait 12 hours before trying to feed her anything.  She also said they would be starting her on antibiotics as a precaution a little later and she would need to be on them for at least 24 hours, so the earliest she could go home would be Monday.  I was supposed to be released Sunday morning.  This was a disappointment to us, but we thought Monday, it's just one day, it will be fine. And, all in all, it was good news.  We then discussed our two names again and decided to go with Stella.  After that we decided to head to the nursery to see our little one.  After a long walk to the nursery (because I had to take it very slow), we walked in and saw our poor little Stella all hooked up to the monitors.  So sad!

We couldn't hold her what with all the wires attached to her and they didn't want me to try feeding her yet, so Saturday consisted of several trips to the nursery to just see her.  Saturday night they decided I could try feeding her.  She did well, so then we got to go to the nursery every few hours through the night to feed her.  The next morning, the pediatrician on duty briefly informed us that they had x-rayed Stella again and the spots had cleared up so everything looked good.  That was all she said.  The midwife on duty checked me and said that, although I was doing well, she would see if she could come up with a reason to keep me another day since Stella wouldn't be able to go home that day.

The midwife came back and informed me that, although I wasn't showing any symptoms, I was pretty anemic and for that reason, they would keep me until Monday morning so we could stay with little Stella.  We were very excited about that and the rest of the day was spent with trips to the nursery every few hours to feed the wee one.  One of the benefits of feeding her was that I got to hold her.  Poor Mr. Frisby couldn't.  Her feedings were off and on.  Sometimes she ate well and sometimes she didn't.  After good feedings, they would turn down her IV, slowly weaning her off it.  I was convinced that she wasn't always eating well because of the IV.  I found it very frustrating, because I thought if they just took her off the IV, she would eat better because she would then need the nourishment.  During one of the feedings either late Sunday night or early Monday morning, one of the nurses decided to give us an update.  And, that's when things went downhill.  She was a different nurse that we hadn't worked with before and I don't think she was looking at the most up-to-date info.  She told us that Stella's x-ray looked questionable and they would have to repeat it and that it was going to take a little while to wean her off the IV, so she wouldn't be able to go home until at least Tuesday.  We informed her that they had done another x-ray which the pediatrician told us was normal.  She checked the computer again and then saw the other x-ray.  She then told us the weaning schedule for the IV.  Stella needed to have two good feedings before they would turn it down.  And they had to turn it down several more times before taking her off it.  We took all of this information in and left the nursery disappointed since that particular feeding hadn't gone well.

As we walked back to our room, I voiced my frustrations to Mr. Frisby.  He agreed.  We couldn't understand why Stella was still on antibiotics and an IV when she was supposedly doing well and they hadn't even found anything wrong with her.  We also didn't like that we were getting different info from different nurses and yet the pediatricians weren't giving us any info.  When we got back to our room, Mr. Frisby went down the hall to use the restroom and my nurse came in to give me my medication and take my vitals.  She casually asked how the baby was doing.  I was already very frustrated with the situation and with postpartum blues setting in fast, it was all I could do to keep it together.  I responded that I didn't really know how the baby was doing because everyone was giving us different information but nobody could say what was wrong with her and yet, they kept pushing back her release date.  I don't think my nurse expected to open such a can of worms with her simple question, but as I was on the verge of tears, she could tell I was frustrated.  She made a quick call to the nursery to find out what was going on, but the problem was that she spoke with the nurse who had updated us just a few minutes before.  So, no new information.  Mr. Frisby came back sometime in that time and as the nurse left, I completely broke down.  She must have heard my sobs as she left the room and informed the nursery staff of my frustrations because when we went back in the morning to feed Stella, it was a complete change.  The nurses were all very nice and helpful (they really had been the whole time, they were just more so that morning) and the pediatrician who was very short with us about the x-ray the previous morning was very nice and informed us that Stella was doing well and they would be taking her off the IV and antibiotics that morning since she didn't really see a need for her to be on them.  We were thrilled!  Maybe she would be able to go home that morning after all.  She then informed us that Stella was looking a little yellow, so she needed to check for Jaundice.  If she did have Jaundice, she would have to stay the night under the lights and go home the next morning.  If not, we could take her home that day.  As I had also noticed Stella's yellowness and worried about Jaundice in the back of my mind, I had a sinking feeling that we would be going home without her that day.

When we got back to our room, the midwife checked me and asked what was going on with the baby.  We told her what the pediatrician said and that we had to wait for her blood test to find out if she would be staying or not.  The midwife said that they wouldn't be able to keep me past 6 pm that evening, so if Stella was able to go home, we could leave with her that day.  Otherwise, we would be discharged at 6 pm and would have to leave without the baby while she stayed for her little tanning session.  Later that morning, we got a little surprise.  They had taken Stella off the monitors, IV, and antibiotics, so we were allowed to bring her to our room for her feedings.  It was so exciting to have our little baby with us again and not all attached to machines.  My sister just happened to be visiting us when we got to bring her to our room, so we had her help us take some photos.  Unfortunately, the family photos didn't turn out.  We had the wrong lens on the camera for it and Mr. Frisby blinked, but we got some other good photos.

After our little photo shoot, the lab came to draw her blood.  We got the results a little while later.  Stella had Jaundice.  I balled again when I knew we would have to leave her for the night.  We enjoyed our last little bit of time with her, did one more feeding right around 6 pm (incidentally, Stella started eating much better as soon as she was off the IV - just as I thought), and then we were discharged.  I balled again as we drove away from the hospital.  Mr. Frisby did his best to console me, but it was a very difficult thing leaving without her.  They told us before we left that they would do another blood test in the morning and as long as her bilirubin numbers went down, she could go home as soon as she was checked out by the pediatrician.

We tried to get a good night's rest that night since it would likely be our last.  But, that was easier said than done.  The next morning, we called the nursery.  They said her bilirubin count was down and she looked really good.  She would be able to go home, but she had to be checked out by the pediatrician first.  They said the pediatrician should be done checking in the next half hour, so we could call back then.  When we called back, the pediatrician had been called into a delivery and hadn't finished checking Stella out yet.  So, we had to wait yet a little longer.  When we called back a little while later, they said Stella had been examined and she was all ready to be discharged.  We headed to the hospital, super excited to finally bring our little one home.  When we got there, all of the nurses were so excited for us.  They got all the paperwork ready and got everything taken care of and then they told me I could dress Stella to go home.  All of a sudden, I was very nervous.  I think it took awhile, but I finally got her in her little outfit and we were ready to go.

I was all smiles as we made our way to the car.  And, as was the case throughout our hospital stay, everyone on the way commented on all of Stella's beautiful hair.  We got to the car, strapped her into her car seat, and finally headed home!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Arrival of Miss Stella

Miss Stella is now a week old. It's taken me a while to get to this post with everything that has been going on. But, it's time to document her arrival. So, let's get started.  This is going to be a long post; you can skim read if you want.  But, I wanted to get the experience down in writing so I can remember it.

 I started having some contractions on Wednesday night just after I went to bed. They were stronger than any I had had, but not bad. Still, I couldn't sleep through them, so it made for a long night and I thought I must be going into labor. In the early morning hours, the contractions stopped. False alarm. I went about my day Thursday and that evening around 6 or 7, the contractions started again. Stronger than before, but a little irregular. Around 8 pm, I decided I should start timing them. I thought it might be a repeat of Wednesday, but after several hours, the contractions were still there, as strong as ever and getting stronger and closer together. Sleep was impossible, so I tried to keep myself distracted listening to music, trying to relax, etc. Around 4 am on Friday morning, I woke Mr. Frisby up and told him he needed to get up. I knew it wasn't time to go to the hospital yet, but misery loves company. Around 5, when my contractions were about 8 minutes apart, we called Labor & Delivery. The nurse told me to drink lots of water and take a warm shower to see if it would stop the contractions. She said not to worry about coming in until my contractions were about 4 minutes apart. I drank the water and took the shower. The contractions didn't stop, though it did seem to help me relax. I continued laboring for another few hours with the contractions getting closer. I was getting very anxious for that 4 minute mark as my contractions were lasting 1.5 to 2 minutes each and they didn't completely relax in between. We called L&D again around 8 am when my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I was getting very anxious - I wanted my epidural. But, they again told us to wait until my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart for about an hour. Around 10:30, I decided to take another shower to try to relax.  It didn't do much this time around. At last, around 11 am, my contractions had been about 4 minutes apart for an hour. We called L&D and they told us to go ahead and come in. We grabbed our bags and loaded Scout and her things in the car. After a quick stop at the neighbors' to drop Scout off, we were headed to the hospital. At this point, I totally had the shakes and the only thing on my mind was the epidural. Also, I was very scared that we would arrive at the hospital, I would only be dilated to a 3 or something like that, and they would send me home.

We arrived at the hospital, got checked in, and got settled in the L&D room by about 12:30. I told Mr. Frisby to go tell the nurses I was ready for an epidural. My nurse came in and said, "so you're ready for an epidural?" and started hooking me up to all the monitors, IV, etc. I said, "yes, please." She went through all of the questions they have to ask you at the beginning. One of them was, "what is your biggest concern/need?" She asked me that question and looked over at me. I looked at her and said, "uhhh." To which she responded, "just the epidural?" "Yep". She informed me that they were waiting for the lab to come draw my blood. As soon as they got the results, they would do the epidural. She then checked me to see my progress and determine if I would be sticking around. The moment of truth. Please, don't let it be a 3. Please, don't let it be a 3. She checked me and said, "well, you're dilated to about a 6. I think we'll keep you." Thank everything!

After what seemed like forever, but was really only an hour, the lab came to draw my blood. As the lady finished, I asked how long it would take to get the results. I was nervous for her answer. I really wanted that epidural. When she responded, "about an hour" with no amount of sympathy in her voice, I felt like all was lost. But, with all the chaos of being in the hospital getting ready to have a baby and the constant interruption of nurses, midwives, and doctors, the hour went by in a bit of a blur and at last the anesthesiologist came walking through the door. I've never been more happy to see a health care provider in my life! I quickly nodded in consent as he went through all the necessary info, side effects, risks, etc. and finally he got to work. Sweet relief! For the first time in almost 24 hours, I was pain-free. The midwife said I should nap after I got the epidural so I would have energy to push later on since I hadn't slept the night before. Easier said than done when I'm hooked up to a blood pressure monitor that goes off every 15 minutes, making my arm feel like it's about to fall off. I did the best I could and dozed on an off for the next couple of hours. Mr. Frisby passed the time by having fun with the camera.

After checking me again and seeing that I was dilated to a 9, the midwife thought I might be ready to start pushing around 5 pm or so.  We told my mom to come around that time.  She came a little after 5, but I wasn't ready to start pushing then, so it worked out.  For the next few hours, we just waited for me to dilate to a 10.  Unfortunately my contractions had slowed a little.  Just after 8 pm, it was go time.  By this time, the nurses and midwives had switched shifts, so I was working with new faces.  My new nurse came in and gave me some info about pushing.  She said the average birth has about an hour of pushing.  She also explained that whenever I had a contraction, I needed to push with it as if I were having a bowel movement.  Noted.  The midwife came in to check on things and said we should turn down my epidural so I could feel the contraction and push with it.  My epidural level was a 10.  She told them to reduce it to a 7.  I thought, "can't we try a 9 or an 8 and see how that goes?"  But, 7 it was.  I could definitely feel the contractions then, so away we went.  Since my contractions had slowed, they started me on Pitocin to get things going a little faster.  It did pick things up, but it still turned out to be a long and laborious process.  At 9:30 pm, I was still pushing.  I was totally exhausted by this point, but her head was visible with each push.  They asked if I wanted a mirror so I could see.  I was hesitant, but I said sure.  They brought the mirror.  I watched for a second and decided I didn't want to watch anymore.  So, they took the mirror away.  The nurse said, "let's see if we can get her out by 10 pm."  I looked at the clock and I really didn't think I had it in me to keep going.  I was completely beat and I was in pain.  Fortunately, at that point, things picked up and got pretty intense as Baby was all of a sudden moving.  There was no more time to think I was done.  Because all of a sudden I had to PUSH!  I knew we were close when the midwife came back in and started putting on all her blood/mess shields, got out the instrument tray, and broke down the bed (I delivered at Kaiser San Jose where most of the babies are delivered by Certified Nurse Midwives).  It made me excited that it would all be over soon. After about 20 minutes and several pushes later, she was crowning.  And, with one more big push, she came out all at once.  Baby was finally here (she wasn't Stella yet).  They immediately put her on my belly and it was love at first sight.  Mr. Frisby cut the cord, I delivered the placenta with one more push and at 9:52 pm it was done.

The whole experience was very intense and somewhat of a blur, but I will never forget the feeling I had when I saw her for the first time.  Even covered in gunk and with a pretty wicked conehead, she was beautiful.  I won't go into any more detail about the whole thing because the rest of the details are pretty gruesome.  But, I will say that I think I was completely unprepared for the pushing part.  I had assumed that it wouldn't be very hard and that it would be pain-free because of the epidural.  Wrong on both accounts.  However, despite the difficulty and the pain, this little babe was totally worth it.  She's the best!  And to prove it, here are a few pics of her first couple of hours in the world:

By the time she was examined, weighed, bathed, and diapered, her conehead was gone and she was ready for a name.  That will have to come later, though.  The story of her arrival is enough for one post.  Next up, little Stella's time in the hospital.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stella Rae Frisby

Baby has arrived! I'll have to post about the whole process later when I'm feeling more up to it, but I thought a photo was in order. She was 8 lbs, 4 ozs, 21 inches long, and she's got lots of strawberry blond hair. She's a cutie and already seems to have a mind of her own.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Update

As we have recently been inundated with phone calls, texts, and emails asking about Baby, and we had an appointment with our doctor this morning, I've decided it's time for an update.

First of all, everyone always asks me how I'm feeling. Well, I'm two days overdue, we're having a week-long heatwave, and Baby is as big and active as ever. I think that should be all the info you need to deduce how I'm feeling.

Second, everyone wants to know when Baby is coming. Well, so do we! Our ideal day of last Thursday came and went without incident. My due date of Monday came and went without incident. My sister-in-law's predicted day of yesterday came and went without incident. So, what exactly is going on? Well, here's what we learned at the doctor today. When the doctor checked me two weeks ago, I was dilated to 1.5 cm and 50% effaced. In addition, the baby is sitting very low. At that time, the doctor said this was a great place to be in for 38 weeks. Well, two weeks later, it appears nothing has changed. I'm not sure if it's still a great place to be in for 40 weeks. The doctor didn't say, but I'm thinking that since I'd rather the baby had come by now, it's not. Essentially, as pretty much everyone knows, labor can start at any time. So, although nothing's changed in two weeks, I could theoretically go into labor today and have the baby tonight or tomorrow. Or Baby could just continue happily lazing away the days in my belly with her foot in my ribs as she has been. And, that's about all we know about when baby is coming. She's got her own agenda and seems to have no regard for what would work best for us. Surprise, surprise.

Now, on to what we discussed with the doctor. Induction. The doctor said we should come up with a contingency plan in case Baby is too comfortable in my belly. She said they usually start thinking about induction when you're at least a week overdue - this coming Monday in our case. But, if I wanted to wait a little more to see if Baby will come on her own, we can go up to two weeks over. I told her that I would rather not follow my sisters' leads of going two weeks over and having 9 or 10 lb babies, so the sooner the better. She said she could try to get me into a 9pm spot on Monday night or the next available time was 7:30 am Wednesday morning. She told me she preferred the Monday spot for selfish reasons - she's on duty Tuesday morning, so she would probably be able to deliver the baby. That sounded good to me, so she got me the Monday evening spot. Great! If Baby doesn't come before then, we'll get things going Monday for sure.

So, what if Baby decides it's time to make her appearance and things start moving along before then? Well, now comes the tricky part. There is a one-day nurses' strike happening tomorrow at Kaiser. Which means that, although there will be nurses working, they will be short-staffed. Should I go into labor tonight, they may have to send me to a different hospital so they don't get overloaded. While we thought tonight might be a good night because, once again, my doctor is on duty, it's not so ideal if they have to send me to a different hospital. Now what? I would prefer not to have to be induced, but Monday evening is sounding like an ideal time. So, maybe Baby will finally listen to us and get things going on her own on Monday night. Or maybe Baby will do her own thing and come when she wants. Your guess is as good as mine. In the meantime, since the weather is less than comfortable and I'm feeling very ginormous, I think it's time for a swim!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Room For Baby

Finally, I have taken some photos of the nursery. It's nearly done. My mom is still finishing up the bumper pads for the crib, but she's almost done. I figured that I don't need to worry about pictures of them now, though, because soon I'll be posting cute pictures of our baby sleeping in her crib, so the bumper pads will be shown in those pictures in all their glory. I also still have the blank wall above the crib, but that will probably remain blank until after the baby comes, so for now, it is what it is. Anyway, without further ado, I present the nursery:

 Here it is, looking in from the door.
Here's the feeding corner
Here's the crib corner
Here's baby La-A (pronounced Ladasha). This little guy was created by my nieces to go on top of a present at my baby shower. They insisted that I place this little baby in the crib until the real baby arrives. So, here she is, keeping the crib warm.
Here's the bookshelf/lamp/toy corner
Here's the diaper changing corner
And here's a close-up of what's hanging on the wall. The white dress is one that my mom wore as a baby and I love having it hanging in the room.
And that's the nursery. I took some pictures with the lights on and some with them off, but I think you can get a good idea of the colors we used and how it looks. I'm very happy with how it turned out and I'm so excited for Baby's room to no longer be empty!