Sunday, August 4, 2013

Andelyn Renee - One Month

Oh sweet Andelyn, how could a month have gone by already (and by month, it's actually almost 8 weeks as I'm writing this)?? People always say how time begins to go by even quicker once you have kids. How right are they!?!

Sitting up like a big girl!
(Don't worry -- I'm sitting about 6 inches from her....)
You like to be curled up most of the time.
Thanks Grandma Lisa for the red rocking chair!

 You're almost as long as your portable changing pad.

 You are incredibly alert, never wanting to miss anything.
You only want to be carried high on our shoulders or turned outward so that you can see everything!
If someone "new" holds you and tries to carry you cradle style, you will have none of it.

Our little wiggle worm! 

At one month:
       You weigh: 7 lbs 0.5 oz. You are starting out slow, but doing great! We love our little girl.
       You are starting to smile, mostly in the mornings.
       You love to be in our arms (at all times :))
       You don't like your pacifier. If we try to put it in, you know better and just spit it out.
       You only want to nap while being held, you especially like to sleep on dad's chest.
       You already sleep through the night! You have done this since day one. We are so proud!       
           We swaddle you and lay you in your crib. After 30 minutes of looking around, you fall asleep.
           We can usually count on you sleeping 6 hours. Keep it up!
      You like your baths until we begin to wash your hair. Then it's all down hill from there....
      You eat 6-7 times a day (usually 6, at every 3 hours and 15 minutes). For the first two weeks you
           ate for 30 minutes. Since then you take an hour. Hah. Slow and steady. We've given you a
           couple bottles and you gulped them down in no time!
      You had a big growth spurt at exactly 3 weeks! You ate every two hours.... all day long. 
      You like to be outside and go on walks. We managed to walk to Grandma Kay and Grandpa   
           Dave's house a couple times already!
      We call you sweetheart, sweetie pie, baby girl, babe, cutie, cutie pie.
       People at church think that you just sleep all the time. They want to see your eyes. Thanks for
           being so well behaved when we're in public. :)
       You are spoiled by your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that live here. They can't get
           enough of you!
       You met your cousins Lane, Gage, and Logan. They drove all the way from Colorado!  
       You were also visited by honorary aunt Lacey.
       You lost your umbilical cord on June 17th.
       You have gunky sleep eyes every time you wake up.
       You were holding your head up before we even left the hospital.

Comments that people have made over and over:
       She's so tiny!
       Look at those long toes and fingers (dad says they're for basketball says piano).
       Does she have eyeballs?
       How precious!
       Oh, so cute!
       Her complexion is so good.
       Does she make any noise?

Notes from mom and dad:
       Can't imagine life without you....what did we do before?!?!
       You've stolen our hearts, from day one.
       Our housework has been sorely neglected because all we want to do is look at you.
       It's hard for dad to leave every morning for work.
       We know you need to grow, but it's a little bit hard to accept that you've changed so much
       We LOVE you, forever and always.

More photos from the month.....

Birth Story

This is a timeline of the events that led up to the birth of our beautiful daughter. This is more for me to write down the events before I forget them. It will probably get long so I'm just warning you it might take up a chunk of your time in order to read it all.

May 22nd: Went to the doctor hopeful. He said everything was looking good and baby could come anytime.

May 23rd: Last day of school!! Baby can come anytime.

May 29th: Went to the doctor again. Same report as last week. 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. Getting excited. :)

May 30th: OFFICIAL DUE DATE! Heather takes a three mile walk to coerce the baby out. Unfortunately it did not produce any results other than exhaustion.

May 31st: What no baby? What do you do when you go past your due date? Having a baby is one of the only things you look forward to and get excited about that doesn't necessarily happen on a set day. What a weird concept to wrap your head around. We hadn't looked past May 30th for nine straight months.

June 3rd: Another doctor's appointment. Excited that it possibly could happen while in Liberal. Doctor checked and there was no more progress. He told us he was going to be leaving town for the weekend and suggested that we think about setting up an induction date. (Our very last option.) So we talked through all of the possibilities and decided we didn't want to have a baby without our doctor. He also said he was selfish and liked delivering the his own patient's babies if at all possible. We weren't thrilled and he knew it, so he suggested one more option. There is a medicine called cervidil which helps soften the cervix. It doesn't actually cause the body to go into labor, but can help it get there if it is ready. We hadn't heard anything about this before, but when he suggested that he would have his own daughter do it at the stage we were, we decided to go for it. That meant we would be coming back to Liberal the next evening.

We ate at Ruffino's, an Italian restaurant in Liberal, for one last mini date before we became a family of three. :)

June 4th: Today was the day we knew we were headed to Liberal, just didn't know if it would be on our own timing or the baby's. It was a strange day. Nothing happened on it's own that day despite multiple walks. We needed to be in Liberal at the hospital at 5:30 so Ryan quit work at 3:00 to come home to pack and get ready. We packed everything up and left the house as two at 4:30. It was strange because it felt like we were packing and leaving for vacation. It hadn't quite set in yet that we would be coming home as three.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:15 and checked in. It felt weird not being in rush, because that's what we both had imagined would happen. They were waiting for us and had our room all set up. It was like getting our keys to a motel room. Once we got settled they hooked me up to the monitors and brought me supper. Around 6:15 I received the medicine. It was just a waiting game from then on. The nurse assigned to us didn't help lift our spirits when she said that most of the time this medicine doesn't work and just helps the body get ready for the induction. In fact, she was adamant that it wouldn't work. Nurses did periodic checks to see if there was any progress, nothing yet. Around 9 p.m. they took me off the monitors and told me that I would need to get a good nights rest because the induction would be long and rough. Ambien was offered to me to help me get a good nights rest. Around 10:45 I noticed that I was having some back pain/period like cramps. I kept track of the time and it was happening every 7 minutes or so. I told Ryan to start timing it on his phone. Sure enough it was consistently every 6.5 or 7 minutes. We timed them for almost 40 minutes before we got the nurse. When we told her about it she said that the medicine just does that, but didn't think it was the start of anything. Little did we know at that time, it actually was.  Taking the nurse's advice I took the Ambien around 11:30 and got very sleepy. Ryan stayed up to monitor the surrounding storms a little while longer in case he needed to leave with the car to protect it from the hail.
June 5th: Ryan will be writing from his perspective now since I don't remember a lot of this because of the sleep medicine.
1:30 a.m. I wake up to the sounds of Heather screaming in pain. She tells me that she thinks she needs to go to the bathroom. I help her out of bed and she's able to go to the bathroom and it relieves some of the pain. She goes back to bed. I assume it's contractions, but didn't get my hopes up.
1:37 a.m. The screams happen again. Once again we try the bathroom routine. It seemed to help, but on our way back to the bed another contraction starts. We realize we are in for a long night, but we now know that Heather will not have to be induced. Yay!!
1:37 to 3:00 Consistent contractions every 5 to 7 minutes lasting around a minute to a minute and a half. Heather is doing an awesome job of fighting through them.
3:00 The contractions get stronger and much more frequent. They are actually to the point where I can't tell when one stops and the next one starts. Heather keeps complaining that she needs to poop. The doctors reassure her that it's just the pressure the baby is causing. Most of the pain was in her back, not in the front. We tried laying down during contractions, we tried using a workout ball, standing, squatting, and anything we could think of. The best position for her was on sitting on the side of the bed. I had to run and get the workout ball from the trunk of the car in the middle of the rain.
3:30 They check her for dilation because she is saying she has to push every time she has a contraction. She is only at a 5 or 6. The nurses and I try to help her with her breathing to avoid pushing, because we know that could cause inflammation and increase the chance of a C-section.
4:30 The discussion of getting an epidural starts coming on to play. We both had decided that we didn't want to do it if it wasn't necessary. At this point we both realize that she's having a hard time relaxing during the contractions and is still pushing. We both agree that for the safety of the baby and Heather we should probably get the epidural. Heather tells me that she's not sure she can make it another hour until the epidural. She can't relax. I reassure her that she's doing great and will be able to do it. The focus was solely on her breathing. It was intense and I had her look straight into my eyes as I told here to breath in and breathe out. Don't hold your breath. You need to breathe!!
5:00 The anesthesiologist shows up and begins pumping fluids in, as well as prepping Heather to receive the epidural. She is nervous that she won't be able to hold still enough for him to get the needle in just the right spot.
6:00 The epidural is given. Heather was a champ!! The contractions were constant at this point, but she was able to focus and hold still through the pain.
6:30 Pain has ceased (for the most part), and the Ambien has basically worn off. Heather is back to her normal self. :) She is able to sit in bed and have a normal conversation. We talk about how excited and nervous we are. Life will never be the same! How much longer?!?! Boy or girl?
7:00 I call our parents and let them know the situation. They need to be on call! I also call our good friend (and photographer) to let her know that it's time.
7:00 - 8:00 Heather rests and prepares for what we think could be a long day. The epidural slightly slowed down progress.
8:00 Photographer shows up and we have light hearted conversation. She then goes and picks me up breakfast (Heather is obviously not eating). Heather says that she can feel when she is having each contraction. They aren't painful, there is just pressure. She is also able to feel her legs and even move them a bit.
8:30 The doctor comes around for his normal morning rounds. There were 4 ladies trying the Cervidil and by this point, Heather was the only one in labor. He checks Heather and she is completely dilated and effaced. She is complete!! Because she was not in pain, he said that we should wait and let the baby continue to move lower. He said that this would save a lot of pushing (and boy was he right!). We wait and the contractions produce more and more pressure.

8:30 - 9:30 We watch HGTV. Ha.
9:30 Feeling pressure to begin pushing! Nurses begin bringing in the delivery supplies and baby bed. Is this really happening???? We are about to have a baby!
9:40 The nurse checks Heather and says the head is very low. The go ahead to start pushing is given! I quickly let our parents know that they can probably head this way.
This is it. The moment we've been waiting/preparing/praying for for nine months.
We are ready to meet you, baby Reimer.

9:45 After taking a big deep breath and getting situated, Heather begins pushing. After working all night long on her breathing, we have to start all over. She now needs to HOLD her breath and do exactly what she was wanting to do so early on. Our nurse held the count. 3 sets of 10 seconds during every contraction. After 3 or 4 pushes, she tells Heather that she needs to wait or we will be having a baby without the doctor. What? Wait? What do you mean, wait?

10:00 Looking out the hospital room, we could see the doctor driving over from his office which is right across the street. He didn't seem to be in any hurry (hello--we're having a baby here!). We will always remember the slow yellow Toyota FJ-Cruiser.
10:04 The nurse runs to the hall and tells the doctor to HURRY! He is finally here. He scrubs up and washes his hands, assesses the situation and says, "Okay, here we go." Heather and I look at each other with great anticipation!
10:05 One push....
10:06 Two pushes....
10:07 And we have a baby!! I couldn't tell right away what the gender was because of the impending view point. The doctor flips the baby over and..... IT'S A GIRL!!!! I'm an emotional wreck at this point. Heather is smiling and relieved. Andelyn is crying. What a sweet, sweet sound.

After this, we get to hold her and spend time together as a family of three for 20-30 minutes before family begins to show up. We are totally in awe, and honestly....feeling great! SO IN LOVE! We didn't tell anyone the gender until they got to the hospital. It was definitely enjoyable watching everyone's reactions (see pictures below). All family had arrived by 12:30.



....During this time, Heather had a slight scare with extremely low blood pressure and pulse rates. The nurses shooed family out of the room and got down to business. They were afraid that she might have a large blood clot. They pumped her full of more fluids and began to furiously massage her stomach (from the inside and out). Ouch! Everything turned out fine, rates rose, and family was able to return to the room within 15 minutes.
Andelyn was wide awake until around 1:00 p.m. and then she was OUT. She was given her first bath and hearing test by the nurses at this point and slept through every minute of it. Because she was sleeping so hard, the nurses were concerned that she wasn't going to get enough to eat. Multiple attempts to wake her up throughout the afternoon and evening were made. None were successful. Nothing seemed to phase her.  She finally woke up at 10:30, ready to eat.
We were able to go home the next day after lunch. They're really going to let us walk out of here with a baby? A real life baby?? No owner's manual? Okay.....
Here. We. Go....