Sunday, August 31, 2008

The First Month

She will be 5 weeks old tomorrow. Oh how I can't believe the first month is over! She had her 2 week checkup with Dr. Ashcraft. All was perfect except that she hadn't gained back to her birth weight. The pediatrician decided my breast milk was insufficient because of my Reduction Mammaplasty 10 years ago. I was very disappointed about having to give her formula. I am a firm believer in exclusive breastfeeding. I gave in and started supplementing. At the end of the second week we went back for a weight check. She weighed in at 7 lbs 2 oz. I was relieved. Her cord stump fell off while we were there. During the third week her movements became much more vigorous. She started holding her head up for periods of 5 to 10 seconds at a time, and she started moving herself in the crib and on the floor. She can follow an object with her eyes, but not very far or for very long. Just this past week she started smiling in response to me. I even heard a little giggle. She coos and grunts now in addition to crying. Last night she got her first bath in the bathtub. She seemed to really like being in the warm water, and did not cry at all. Impressive! Today she made her debut at church. She was finally able to wear a newborn size dress (instead of preemie) and she looked so so so adorable!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our First Day Home

Our arrival home was wonderful. I was irritated from the car ride home, but mom had cleaned our house and put fresh flowers everywhere, which made me feel so much better. We got settled in and tried to relax. I had no idea this new job would be so demanding. I dreamed of a peaceful sleeping baby with sugar and spice and everything nice. Stephanie Gean came to visit and brought us a kit to plaster Allison's hand prints. She prayed for Allison and her new life. It was very sweet and touching. The first night was a real eye opener. Every whimper she made I was awake and wanting Tristan to check on her. Any move I made was still unbelievably painful because of the c-section. Tristan was frustrated with having to be the "go between" me and Allison. I finally gave in and let her sleep on my chest. I wasn't scared of rolling over since the pain was so unbearable. We snuggled in and slept... finally.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Recovery

Later that evening I was moved into another private room where I would be staying for the next few days while I recovered. It was a nice room with a pull out bed for Tristan. Allison was able to "room in" with us which really helped us bond as a family. The nurses were really sweet and helpful except one which mother nicknamed "Nurse Latchless." She was a rigid woman who came back out of retirement after 10 years. Another nurse student was very sweet and helpful. She had five children herself and was very encouraging toward my nursing efforts. That first night, I begged every nurse that came in to please remove my catheter. They kept telling me no, but finally about 5 am the next morning, a nurse came into remove it. I had to sit up on the side of the bed for a while before trying to stand with the nurses help. I made it to the bathroom and back to the side of the bed where I sat for a while longer. I felt better. Mom was right about moving around. She said it hurts at first but the more you move the better you'll feel. Later that morning I was able to move to a recliner where I welcomed visitors and nurses for most of the day. Tristan went back and forth from the hospital to our house getting things I had forgotten or realized I needed. That evening, we settled in for our next night in the hospital. Allison woke up ever 2 -4 hours to eat and cry and then sleep again. The exhaustion began to set in. I could have sent her to the nursery, but I did not want her to leave my side. The next day we welcomed many more visitors. The doctor said I was healing nicely and maybe could go home tomorrow. I relaxed and enjoyed my time with sweet baby Allison. We spent one more night and were released the following day around 2pm. Sarah came to the hospital to help us get our things together. We loaded up the car, but did not anticipate how difficult it would be to install the car seat, especially in 105 degree weather. Finally it was in and we were ready to make our journey home.

The Birth

July 28, 2009. Our first wedding anniversary. We arrived at the hospital around 5:30am. I was excited and nervous and everything in between. The doctor broke my water and so began the waiting game. The doctor came back in and said I was at 4 cm. I held out for several hours then politely requested an epidural which took 3 hours to arrive. By that time I was screaming for the epidural asking "where the H*** is the doctor?" After the epidural the OB came back in and checked me... still at 4 cm. It's been 8 hours. Time for a c-section. I started crying. This is not what I had planned. This is not what I had envisioned. The nurses scurried around as if time was running out. They whisked me into surgery, strapped me to the "cross" and began furiously preparing to remove the child within me. I could not stop shaking. "Where is Tristan?" I kept asking to no one. Finally he arrived and only a few minutes later so did my beautiful baby girl. The doctors passed her around guessing her weight around 7 or 8 lbs. They where shocked when the scale read 6 lbs 13.6 oz. They brought her to me where I could see her and kiss her head, but I was still strapped down and unable to hold her. She and Tristan left for the nursery. Finally all was complete. They wheeled me back to my room for recovery where they brought me sweet Allison to hold. All my family and friends where there to welcome her to the world. She was so precious, so tiny, and so mine. I can't begin to express the joy she brings me.