Saturday, December 29, 2012

One Month.

Peyton's blessing day
December 23, 2012
Peyton was a month old on Christmas day. I can't believe she's already a month old. While I'm so overly tired that it feels like it's been forever, it still somehow feels like the last month went by really fast. It's weird & difficult to explain. Not important. What's important is that Peyton is a month old. & before I forget, I want to share what has been the biggest help to us with a crying baby. WHITE NOISE. Read (or watch, because there's a dvd), Happiest Baby on the Block. It works. Gabe is the master of the 5 S's. & I even downloaded a white noise app in my phone (tv static works even better). I stick it in her car seat when she's upset, or when we're out & she starts to wake up, & BOOM, happy baby. Or at least a baby in a daze, which is fine by me! Invest. It will save your life. I'm incredibly thankful to the women at church that introduced me to it. Life saver. MOVING ON!

4 weeks old.
Peyton lost 7% of her birthweight before we left the hospital. 10% is the max of what's acceptable. Since she was so close, I had to take her in the Friday after she was born (she was born on Sunday November 25th) to have her weighed. She was at 5 lbs 14 oz. She started at 6 lbs 10 oz. That's 12% which is clearly more than 10%. A lot of people have told me that's normal & not to worry about it. Yes, weight loss is totally normal. But her weight loss was due to the fact that she wouldn't eat. She wouldn't even take a bottle. She was too lazy to suck. My baby was starving & wasting away to nothing. Three doctors came to check out an abnormality at the base of her spine (which seems to be nothing), & two of them said I definitely needed to go up to the lactation specialist. So I did. It took an hour, but was completely worth it. She had me pump, which was nice because I was severely engorged since my milk had come in 2 days earlier & Peyton wasn't eating. I don't know if you've ever been engorged for 2 days, but my boobs were about 3 sizes bigger than any other day, were very red, had lots of lumps, & it hurt to just brush against something. (Seriously, if your baby won't nurse, invest in a breast pump asap. So wonderful.) Anyway. She had me pump so that we could run a small catheter into her mouth while she was latched on to me & use a syringe to slowly push some of the milk in to her mouth to convince her to suck. It worked!! I had to do that a few more times over the next 24 hours, but after that she had it down perfectly. Thank goodness!

Baby Burrito.
4 days old.

After that appointment, I got a call from the awful first year resident that Peyton's appointment was with that day that said the lactation specialist was really worried about Peyton (which she wasn't), & we needed to bring her in the next day, Saturday, for another weight check. That time she weighed 5 lbs 15 oz! She gained an oz over night!!! It was great. I had another appointment the following Monday, & she was at 6 lbs exactly! At her 2 week well-baby check up that Friday she weighed 6 lbs 1 oz. She was gaining slowly but surely. At that point, we had picked a good doctor, the chief resident, & we really like him. He wanted me to supplement with formula. I decided against it & waited to see what she weighed at her next appointment on the 18th. She was at 6 lbs 6 oz. Just 4 oz short of her birth weight at 3 weeks. The doctor I saw that day was not our regular doctor & I had a really hard time with her. Her tech recorded the weight down wrong. Apparently they had her at just over 7 lbs, but I had seen the scale & it was definitely 6 lbs 6 oz. She tried to convince me that the grams were what mattered & that according to the grams she was over her birthweight. That somehow the grams to pounds & ounces didn't matter. Uh. What? No. She was wrong. Horribly wrong. Anyway. Since she wasn't back at her birthweight at what she was calling a month old, she wanted me to supplement with formula. They wanted her back at her birthweight by one month. Which meant she had a whole week to get that last 4 ounces, but the doctor wasn't realizing that. I told her I didn't want to supplement because the whole reason Peyton lost all the weight in the first place was that she was too lazy to suck. So why on earth would I give her a bottle 4 times a day? That's way easier than a boob. Why would I give her that option? So I went against her advice, which is fine by me, & my regular doctor, because she was not smart. That's putting it nicely. I shouldn't have to argue with a doctor about whether or not grams converted to pounds & ounces would be the same thing. We went back to the doctor yesterday for another weight check & Peyton is at 6 lbs 14 oz! She is 4 oz over her birthweight!!! Now, this is in the zero percentile, but she's gaining weight!!! She also grew an inch. The doctor was pretty happy with it. She's just small. He wants her between the 5th-10th percentile by her two month well baby check up.
Bored while shopping.
11 days old.

Long story short, she's definitely still in newborn clothes, & she's now starting to fit in to them. Peyton makes lots of sounds, but luckily she's a very quiet sleeper. Makes my life easier cause that means she can sleep in our room in her pack 'n' play until she sleeps longer than a couple of hours at a time.

As for me, I'm doing alright. Super sleep deprived of course, but that's to be expected. I'm incredibly grateful my mom was here the first few weeks. I was able to hand Peyton off & get a few extra minutes of sleep every once in a while. Plus I didn't have to worry about Anya, food, or laundry. I'm dreading Gabe going back to work next week. I think I'm going to fall apart. I mean, I'll be able to handle it, but I'll probably have a mental breakdown at the end of each day. Ha! At least I'll wait until the end of the day to freak out! Gotta make sure Gabe is here to take care of the baby while I'm freaking out. I already have to do laundry almost every day just to keep up. Between Gabe's & my laundry & the baby's, it's a lot. I only have so much in the newborn size & since she has this new thing where she likes to spit up all over herself, I have to was stuff a lot. Lucky she's so flipping cute. Parenting is hard & she's only a newborn. Plus, when she's up, one of us have to be there of course. We have to moogie her, & rock her, & keep her entertained (which, she has the cutest little grin, I can't wait until she does it long enough to get a picture. When she's asleep, I either sleep, or I sit there relaxing, which means I get zero done. She's asleep right now. I should be sleeping. I'm totally exhausted. I'll regret this at 3am when she wakes up to eat.

Peyton & her daddy on Christmas Eve

I've already lost all of my baby weight. I gained 25 lbs in total. I lost 16 lbs within the first 5 days, & I'm now back down to where I was. It's nice to know that. But then I look in the mirror & I see this flab of skin & my tiger stripes & it's a horrible reminder that my body will never be the same. I even have hips!!! It's so crazy. I have a lady shape. Peyton is definitely worth it. She's a cutie & I love her.

Anya has come to terms with the fact that Peyton isn't going anywhere. Poor thing is depressed now that my parents are gone though. She gets significantly less attention than she used to. But I've been trying to get her to come lay next to me while I breast feed, so hopefully soon she'll go back to normal.

This past Sunday, the 23rd, was Peyton's baby blessing. It was beautiful. I cried a little bit. She wore a beautiful blessing dress made by Gabe's mom. I absolutely love it. Of course, when Lori got here she had to add ribbon so we could tie the dress back. It still drowned Peyton a little bit, but it was so adorable it didn't even matter.

Peyton & Grandpa (my dad).
Anyway. Peyton is asleep so I'm going to take advantage of this time & get myself some ice cream (which makes no sense because it's below freezing & we have a few inches of snow on the ground...but whatever). Holding her & scooping ice cream is not easy. I can do it, but I much prefer to eat my ice cream when she's asleep. I can't stop using my moby wrap around the house until she's a bit bigger. According to the directions it's not safe for little runts like Peyton.

I probably won't post again before the new year, so...

Happy Christmas! & Happy New Year!

Now I need some ice cream.

That is all.

- Alexa

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Labor & Delivery.

Peyton Marie.
Born November 25, 2012 at 12:50pm.
6 lbs. 10 oz. 20 inches long.

I didn't make it to my due date (which was December 1st)!!! I was thrilled about that. I went in to labor at 39 weeks to the day. My doctor really thought I would make it to December, which I really didn't want because then I'd be able to say I was pregnant every month this year & that is too depressing. But at my appointment on Nov. 20, I was 70% effaced and just a centimeter dilated. It was definitely looking like it'd be at least another week. But alas, it was not! I was only pregnant 11 months!

My mom arrived in Dayton the day after Thanksgiving, November 23rd. The next morning at 630am I woke up, as per usual, & I had a contraction which was also totally normal. 7 minutes later I had another contraction, which was also normal. I laid there wide awake because I couldn't get back to sleep & continued having contractions every 5-7 minutes. I thought nothing of it. After a couple of hours of these 5-7 minute apart contractions I realized they weren't going away. My mom & I thought it could be false labor since they weren't getting any worse, but my husband told her that he'd never seen me struggle that badly through contractions. My mom & I had made plans to get pedicures & go shopping that day. By 1030am I realized that I wouldn't be able to sit still during a pedicure. No way. I will forever hold a grudge against my daughter for stopping me from getting a pedicure before I went in to labor. I could've really used a foot rub. & it would've been nice to at least have pretty toes while I lost all of my dignity.

Holding Gabe's finger.
So my mom & I decided to just go shopping. My contractions were 5 minutes apart at this point, which is when I was told to call, but while the contractions were painful, I could still handle it. I have to say that shopping while you're in labor is not nearly as fun. However, you do get plenty of attention! Especially when every few minutes you have to lean against a table or wall to brace yourself for 45 seconds. After a few hours of walking around the mall I couldn't stand it anymore. But it was precious watching my mom tell people that I was in labor. She was so excited. But you should've seen the worry on people's faces. "Shouldn't you be at the hospital?!?" It was funny. By the time we started heading back to the car I was pretty miserable. When we got home I sat down for approximately 2 minutes before deciding it was time to go to the hospital. My contractions were 3-4 minutes apart at this point, & were definitely worse than before. We secured Anya's place to stay, grabbed the bags, & headed to the hospital. It was about 5pm by the time we went. I had been in labor for almost 11 hours, so we figured I'd have a baby within the next 12. HA! 

She loves her hands up by her face.
We headed to Miami Valley South, which just opened their maternity wing this past summer. We took the tour a few months ago & I LOVED it. It's nice & not at all crowded, so as soon as my doctor told me that I most likely wouldn't have any complications, I decided that would definitely be the one we went to. I'm so glad cause it was wonderful. They put me right in to a triage room & hooked me up to the monitors. I was hurting. Bad. Definitely couldn't talk, & I hated everyone & everything during my contractions. At this point, my mom was at the house. Gabe did all the counter pressure on my back stuff, which was fantastic. Well, as fantastic as it can get when you feel like your uterus is going to explode. When she checked my cervix it hurt like Hades. It's always fairly uncomfortable, but when you're in labor it hurts even worse. I was still only dilated to a 1. I cried like a little girl when she said that. I had been in labor for 11 hours & hadn't dilated any more. I was terrified they were going to send me home since I wasn't progressing. Luckily my contractions were every 2 or 3 minutes at this point, & I was obviously in pain so they kept me. When I went to change in to my hospital gown, I had the "bloody show" stuff. It was gross. I also discovered that having a contraction when I was by myself was awful because without Gabe telling me to breath or rubbing my back, the contractions felt even worse & I didn't breath. Very unpleasant. I am so so so grateful that I had incredibly supportive people around. Gabe was really really great, as was my mom. & my nurses!

Approximately an hour old.
The delivery room was enormous & nice. Of course, I didn't really care about that. I just wanted drugs. That was my single desire in life. They had to hook me up to an IV to give me fluids before they could give me the epidural. That took 2 long hours. I spent that time in a rocking chair hoping that these horrible pains would break my water or get me to dilate more. (Spoiler alert: neither of these things happened in that 2 hour period.) I commend all of those that do this naturally. But I'm so happy I didn't. By the end of that 2 hours I was getting 2 contractions in a row, & about every minute & a half. I relate these contractions to having a grenade blow up in your uterus. It hurts. A lot. At 730pm, they came in to do my epidural. I was petrified about the enormous needle (which I never saw), but I really really wanted it. The anesthesiologist talked to me about my health history, which is pretty extensive for a 22 year old, & decided she would have to put in the drug very slowly. But at least I'd get the drugs!!! They got me in to the curled up position on the edge of the bed & told me to stay very still. That's hard when you're having contractions. Really hard. She told me that the worst part would be the numbing shot. Um. No. I mean, I could feel it, but that wasn't the worst part of the epidural. When she put in the needle to put in the catheter, she had to go around my spine cause it's all curved and messed up. The pain from that radiated down to my right hip. I was excellent at staying still though. Compared to the contractions, all that poking was nothing. Having said that, apparently I passed out right after she got the catheter in. They thought that might happen when they put the drug in, but all it took was the catheter. Since I passed out without the drug, they decided to give me a low dose. Major relief. It was awful not being able to get up, but watching the monitor and seeing how often the contractions were, I was very very thankful. By 11pm I was starting to feel the contractions again though. Normally they just let you put the button yourself when you want it, but since I'm such a hazard I had to have my nurse in the room while I did it. They decided to up the dosage though. That was the last dose I got. It was intense. I spent the next 13 hours completely unable to feel my right leg. It was like being connected to a very heavy log. People had to move it for me so I could change positions, & if I punched it as hard as I could, my leg didn't care in the least. Nothing. At all. It was a really weird feeling. I didn't like it. But I preferred that to feeling contractions. By a lot.

Dr. Wood.
By 2am ish, I was dilated to a 3. YAY! Two extra centimeters after 20 hours of labor! That's when they started the first round of pitocin. I was checked again at 4am & she said that I was almost at a 4. So frustrating. I didn't get any further the rest of the night. I was just there. Contracting, immobile, for what felt like forever. At 10am Dr. Wood finally came in to break my water. I am told there was a huge gush. That really kicked things in to gear. They started me on the pitocin again & by noon I was at 10cm. Baby girl was still at a -3 station though (meaning that if I started pushing, it would've taken a while) so they put me in a position to make her drop more naturally. They also turned off all of the drugs going in to me so I could start feeling the contractions so I could push when it came time. At 1230 she had dropped plenty & they had me start pushing. Baby girl crowned on my first push. Within 10 minutes they called Dr. Wood to come catch. Within about 5 minutes of him getting in there to catch her, baby girl was out. It was fast. I'm so glad it was so fast. If pushing had been what is average for first time moms (2 hours), I would've for sure passed out. Pushing is hard & exhausting. Anyway. When he lifted her up & I saw her, I immediately started crying like a little girl. They put her on my chest asap, Gabe cut the cord, & I just laid there, apparently gushing a ton more fluid, staring at this perfect little thing that somehow came out of me. It was crazy! I still can't believe that this little girl was in me!!! (& at this point she's actually smaller than she was when I had her...weird.) So. 31 hours later, I finally had a baby.

I look rough. But to be fair,
I had just had a baby a few hours before.
I spent another 2 hours in the delivery room for recovery. Peyton was given her first sponge bath. She was weighed & measured. & she was passed around. All of the nurses that saw her couldn't believe how gorgeous she was. She really is a beautiful baby. But of course, I'm bias, as I am her mother. The post partum room was very nice. The bed was comfy, & I got to order whatever food on the menu I wanted. This hospital actually has good food. Walking when your epidural is fading is weird. Very shaky. But I was so excited about being able to feel my leg again. My post partum recovery in the hospital was great. The nurses took such great care of me. & my husband & mom. & of course Peyton, who didn't have a name until later that night. This hospital doesn't have a nursery that they keep the babies in. They are strictly rooming in. But when my nurses were all caught up on their work & had nothing else to do, they took her for a few hours in the middle of the night so I could get some sleep. It was really nice. & Peyton is a really quiet sleeper so having her in with me is not a big deal at all. I loved my stay & was really sad to go. Mostly because I got such good care in the hospital & I had to go deal with this in real life. It was rough.

Anyway. 31 hours of labor. I'm really proud of myself for going 13 hours without an epidural. & 11 not even at the hospital. & I'm really impressed with myself for being out in public for a lot of that. Passed the time quicker. I didn't enjoy 31 hours of labor. I'm sure glad I didn't have to feel all 31 hours of that. & I now know that I'm not afraid of labor. I can do it! I'm freaking awesome at it! Go me.

Oh boy. This is a long post. I'll leave you with this. If you're terrified of labor, don't be. Women have been doing it forever. You can do it.

- Alexa