Friday, April 27, 2012

Lillian Rose | Newborn Photos

Trying to get these newborn shots done was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be!  Our little bug just didn't want to stay asleep, especially when I tried to place her on her back. I ended up giving up on a few ideas that I had, but overall I'm happy with what I was able to get. I had a hard time narrowing down which shots to post on the blog so this is a bit of picture overload.

Introducing our sweet Lillian Rose...

Sweet Shot Day

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hello World

One week ago today, on April 14th,  Lillian Rose was welcomed into the world with open arms.

All of the details of that beautiful Saturday are still sharp in my mind so I want to write it all down before the memories begin to fade. (Fair warning, there are a lot of personal birth details in this story, so be prepared if that sort of thing bothers you!)

As I write this, a sleepy little newborn is snuggled on my chest and I couldn't be happier.

This is her birth story.


At 8 days overdue, I was scheduled to be induced on Friday, April 13th. We called the hospital around 5:00am as instructed, to find out when we would be able to head in. The nurse said that it had been a very busy night and I would need to call back around 8:00am to see if anything had opened up, so I climbed back in bed and called again later. Still full. At this point they said that rather than calling back every few hours, they would just call us when things slowed down enough that we could come in. Sydney had spent the night at grandma’s house so Jon and I headed out to breakfast and did some shopping to kill time while we waited for the call. Finally my Dr. called me around 3:00pm. Since she was calling me directly, I immediately knew it wasn’t good news. She explained that every time a room was about to open up someone else would come in in active labor, and things were just not slowing down. She said to call back in the morning and try again. We were disappointed, but figured that Friday just wasn’t meant to be the day, and decided to hope for better luck in the morning.

Saturday morning I once again made the 5:00am phone call and this time we were given the green light to head in around 7:00am for a trial induction. Nerves and excitement began to kick in. This was it; we were going to meet our little girl soon!

We arrived at the hospital around 7:00am, filled out some paperwork, got settled in, and then they checked me around 8:00am. I was about 4cm dilated and 60% effaced at that point. IV fluids were started around 8:30am and about ten minutes later they began antibiotics (I was being treated as GBS positive due to my last pregnancy) and Pitocin.

Both of my pregnancies were induced (apparently my girls do not like to show up on time!) but this induction was SO different than my first. With my first induction, I started with Cervidil the night before, contractions began after that, and my water broke on it’s own in the morning. I’m not even sure if I ever received Pitocin. I spent most of that labor in bed, drifting in and out of sleep, and was never fully present or aware of what was going on. It is all a very cloudy memory to me now. (I think I was given some sleeping or pain meds that did a number on me.)

This time I was already so far along with dilation and effacement that we went straight to the Pitocin. This made me a little nervous because everyone always talks about how much more painful contractions are when using Pitocin, but I have to say that I didn’t find that to be the case. My contractions were very mild for most of the day. This may be due to the fact that I only received a very small dose of the Pitocin (Pitocin is given on a scale of 2-20. I was usually siting around a dose of 2-4 and never went above 5).

Things were very slow going at first. Light contractions began around 9:00am, but they were not coming in any kind of regular pattern and were not indicative of true labor at this point. All of my IV drips were hooked up to a portable station and my belly monitors were wireless so I spent most of the morning labor walking the halls and rocking in a chair. This was such a HUGE improvement from being stuck in the bed all day like I was with my first labor.

Our mothers arrived around 1:00pm and we continued to walk, sit, talk, etc. while I labored through some mild to medium strength contractions. I was so much more cognizant and present during this labor and I loved that! At some point, the contractions really began to settle in to a nice rhythm as my body began to take over from the Pitocin jump-start and true labor began. I was checked again around 2:00pm and I hadn’t made much progress (4cm dilated and 70% effaced).

Around 3:00pm the contractions began to really ramp up and become significantly more painful. Up until this point they had been completely manageable, which was a surprise to me due to my Pitocin fears. The Pitocin was shut off and I continued to labor until about 4:15 when we decided to call for the epidural. (I had been holding off as long as possible because it obviously would mean I would be bedridden once I got it.) My doctor, who had been checking in on us throughout the day, came in around 4:30 and broke my water. At that point I had progressed to 6cm and was fully effaced. I received the epidural about fifteen minutes later.

Earlier, our L&D nurse (Who was totally awesome by the way. More on that later.) informed us that Lillian was facing posterior or “sunny side up” which could make pushing more difficult. At this point she decided to put my body in a position she called the "Texas Twist” that has been known to make babies turn on their own. It was a super awkward,uncomfortable, side-ish position and when I had contractions I was feeling a really sharp pain at the top of my stomach underneath my rib cage. I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and she repositioned me. She checked me again and sure enough the pain that I had been feeling was the baby turning. In the short amount of time that I was in the "Texas Twist", I went from 6cm to fully dilated, Lillian had turned the right way, and she had moved down completely into position. The pressure was intense and we were ready to push. It was 5:35, less than an hour after I had gotten the epidural.

Time to push. For me, and I assume most women,  pushing is the most painfully intense part of childbirth, especially when the baby begins to crown. With Sydney I pushed for about an hour and a half. Not bad. This time…10 minutes! I pushed twice and then on the third push…Lillian was born! The time was 5:45pm. She was a big girl, 8lbs 8oz, and 21inches long.

Our experience after the delivery was significantly different the second time around as well. When Sydney was born she had a fever, so she was almost immediately taken out of the room for inspection. This time, our L&D nurse was very supportive of skin-to-skin contact and hands on interaction with the parents. She was awesome! Lillian was immediately placed on my chest after delivery and stayed there with me while the nurses did what they needed to do. Jon cut the cord and then they took her over to the warming table to get weight, etc. After that she went back on my chest, nursed, and then the nurses continued to work (eyes and thighs, etc.). Finally Jon was able to help give Lillian, her first bath. She never left the room until we went upstairs to recovery, where she finally made a few trips to the nursery. It was amazing and every detail is crystal clear in my memory!

Another huge improvement this time is that I delivered in tact (no tears), which has made, I believe, a drastic improvement in pain and healing time for me. When Sydney was born I could barely get out of bed. Jon had to help me do everything those first few days and once we got home it took me a good week to be able to move around with ease. This time, I was able to walk around, albeit not totally pain free, just hours after delivery. And just four or five days later I was for the most part completely pain free.

One thing that was worse this time around was the cramping that happened, especially when nursing, as my uterus worked itself back into place. It was VERY painful for the first three days or so (less and less each day). I don’t remember having that at all with my first pregnancy.

I can’t say enough about the Carle staff. Everyone from my Dr. (who was attentive, encouraging, and stayed on Saturday despite being off call, to see my L&D through) to my L&D nurse (who was totally awesome throughout the day, hugged me after delivery, and told me that I was the best patient and this was a textbook delivery) to the incredibly friendly, helpful, nurses up on the postpartum floor. They all added to our experience and made it that much better!

I was really hoping to go into labor on my own this time and had, as always, some worries about being induced (what if my body isn’t ready, what if it doesn’t take, what if I don’t progress and end up in a C-section, etc.) but in the end, I seriously don’t think I could have asked for a better L&D. The most important thing is always that you end up with a healthy mom and baby when all is said and done. That's all that really matters in the end, but I’m so glad that we were able to have the awesome experience that we did!

Welcome to the world Lillian Rose, you are so loved!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Waiting Place.

If you know me, then you know I'm an "in the moment" type of person. I could go on and on about being fully present and invested in today and not worrying and waiting for tomorrow. This is it. But I have to admit, that the past few days I have been consumed by the waiting.

Dear old Dr. Seuss knows what I'm talking about:

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

What is it about due dates, only educated guesses to begin with, that so easily cause us to stumble into the waiting place? You spend nine months preparing and working up to this illustrious date. THE magical date. And then it comes and goes with not so much as a wink or a nod and the waiting game begins. Each new sunrise arrives with the same hopeful question, Is this it? Is today the day? We continue this cycle of anticipation as we slowly tick days of the calendar and field calls, emails, and texts from equally anxious friends and family.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

We had a weekend of happy Easter distraction and it was just what I needed...Boom Bands indeed.

Here are some things we enjoyed being present for this weekend:

Egg Hunts, Pastels, and Easter Dresses.

Baskets, Candy, and Green Grass.

 A Holiday Meal.

Bunny Ears.

More Baskets. More Candy.

Games, Good Weather, and Family.


Sawyer embracing the cone of shame.

We didn't get the weekend arrival we were hoping for, but that's okay. Little sister will be here soon, one way or another. In the mean time, I'm off to find more boom bands playing.

All family pics were taken by my sister (Thank you!) and edited by me. This one is probably my fave! :)