Thursday, February 26, 2009

1 month old

It's hard to believe Aubrey is 1 month old today. I told Todd that it is hard to remember life without her anymore. She immediately took over my life, but I wouldn't have it any other way. But, I am sad that she's getting older. I will never forget that 1st time that I held her and was in awe. She was so perfect and I stared at her forever. I love her more every minute and I can't wait to see what the next month brings.

I had my postpartum check-up today and it did not go so well. I've lost 25 lbs, which is a good thing. But, that means I have 20 llbs left to go, which is depressing. Hopefully breastfeeding will keep that moving and I'll be able to start exercising soon to speed things up even more. Which leads to the fact that Dr. Gorsuch said my laceration is not quite healed yet. I almost came off the table when she went to check on it. It was so sore and nothing has touched it since Dr. Voung finished my stitches. She said give it another week or so and everything should be ok. Yeah, I think we'll give it at least 2 more weeks just to be safe. Even 3 wouldn't be so bad. I hate that I can't exercise yet, but I am not taking any chances on messing with healing. Sorry for Todd, but I think he understands. I also got my prescription for my birth control pills because I just don't think I can handle the IUD right now. The thought of having that inserted just makes we want to crawl in a hole right now. Maybe when I go back for my annual exam in June, we'll talk about it. But, for now, the pill will work fine.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Aubrey and her paci

I should have known not to say never while I was pregnant because we all know the old saying. One of my nevers was I will never let Aubrey have a paci because I don't want to break that habit when she's 3. Yeah, that went out the window in the hospital when I saw the ugliest paci ever laying in her basket. The NICU nurses gave her this green, awful looking paci called a soothie and it covers half of her face and she loved it. It's so bizarre to see in her mouth because it's see through and you can see her gnawing the heck out of it. I tried not to use after her d/c from the NICU, but quickly realized its powers when she stopped crying when it was in her mouth. So, I went to Target and bought a different kind that wasn't so freakin ugly. It worked pretty well and I was happy to give up the soothie. About a week or so later, Aubrey and I were upstairs and her paci was downstairs and she was crying in her bouncer. All I could find quickly was that darn soothie so I gave it to her. And to my amazement, she fell asleep with it in her mouth. She never puts herself to sleep so I just sat there wide-mouthed at this fact. So, the soothie won and has been the main paci since. I even went back to Target and bought another pack to keep one in her diaper bag and 1 downstairs. I even bought this little thing that attaches it to her outfit so when she inevitably spits it out for the 25th time in 10 minutes, I don't have to catch it or pick it up off the floor. And it's just about as bad because it makes the paci look like a flower and covers even more of her face. So, I have learned that the paci is a good thing. It magically makes crying stop and helps her fall asleep faster, all excellent qualities for a green piece of silicone/latex/plastic/whatever material it is to have. It's still freakin ugly though.

Aubrey getting ready for bed with her paci

Sunday, February 22, 2009

First time parents = comedy

I know first time parents are expected to be funny. I am soo glad that Aubrey will not remember most of the dumb stuff that Todd and I have done over the past 4 weeks. But, sometimes, we do everything right and it just turns out hysterical.

Aubrey hadn't had a dirty diaper since early Thursday morning and by Saturday, I was getting worried. So, I called Mom and she walked me through how to use the rectal thermometer to get things moving. So, the first comedy was watching me holding the phone and Todd holding Aubrey's butt in the air while I used the thermometer. It didn't help that Todd had to keep making funny comments while I was trying to figure out exactly where to put this thermometer. Mom almost spit out her Diet Coke when he said "Fire in the hole!" So, we managed to do the first rectal temperature and Mom said it could take a while for any poop to come out. Yeah, 2 minutes later Todd is running with her to the pack-n-play in the sunroom because she had pooped. Mom told him not to change her yet because she probably wasn't done. Todd said poop was about to start leaking out of the diaper and of course, we only had 1 diaper downstairs, so I ran upstairs to get more. I heard Todd yell something while I was in her room and when I get downstairs, there is poop everywhere. Todd was sliding the diaper underneath her when she made projectile pooping a new sport and it went all over Todd and the carpet. I am almost rolling on the floor at this point because it is funnier than I can really describe here. Aubrey was screaming so we managed to get ourselves together, clean up Aubrey and the mess, and realize that we have a really good story to tell later. I really wish I could have been an observer watching Todd and I muddle through it. Poor Aubrey. I do feel bad that our comedy is at her expense, though. I am sure it's tough being the 1st child. But, Todd and I are the oldest and we made it ok, so I am sure Aubrey will too.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not a good Valentine's Day

While nursing Aubrey Saturday morning, I was reading the message boards and a lady was talking about the symptoms she had and said she was diagnosed with thrush. I thought crap, that's what I'm dealing with. I was having these sharp pains in my breast after nursing plus my nipples felt like they were on fire. Plus, Aubrey has been really gassy and fussy. Of course, the doctor's office is closed on Saturday, so we had to go to urgent care. And of course, they were packed. They did move us to a separate waiting room since Aubrey is so young, but failed to mention there was an hour wait. So, we just sat back there forever. All the while I am needing to pump and could have sent Todd home for my pump. But, whatever. So, they take us back and weighed Aubrey and said she still only weighed 7 lbs. She weighed that the day after we left the hospital, so that was an immediate stressor for me. We go back in the exam room and I think the nurse thought I didn't know what I was talking about because she kept asking me about all the symptoms of mastitis. I wasn't running a fever, and there was no swelling or redness. So, the doctor finally came in and agreed with the thrush and gave me a topical prescription and Aubrey a liquid that we put in her mouth. I was really hoping they'd give me Diflucan and get it over with. They also recommended we follow up with Aubrey's pediatrician, my OB/GYN, and the lactation consultant. So, that was 2 copays for urgent care plus 3 more copays for those other visits. That's a lot of stinkin money. So, we go get the prescriptions and CVS made us pay for Aubrey's out of pocket since she's not on the insurance yet. Mine ended up being a OTC med like Monstat. We have to go to the pediatrician today and I am going to see if about the other follow up visits after we are done there. Hopefully we can get it cleared it becuase it is painful to nurse and pump. Plus, I hate pumping. I'd much rather nurse for an hour than pump for 20 minutes. I really hope this isn't the reason I have to end up weaning her, but if we can't get it cleared up, it just might be.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2 weeks of insanity

It's hard to believe Aubrey's been here over 2 weeks. Which means its been over 2 weeks since I've had a good night's sleep and it's killing me. She really doesn't sleep long enough during the day for me to get a decent nap in for myself. So, 4.5 hrs of sleep per day is my new norm. But, I am learning to adjust and deal.

But, Aubrey has had a few firsts in the past week.

First 4-hour feeding stretch at night
First trips to Babies-R-Us, Concord Mills, Walmart, and Target (these were more for me to get out of the house than anything)
First dance class- she loved it, especially the loud music
First neighborhood walk
First snow
First diaper rash--ok not a good first, but still a first
My first panicked call to the ped's office (she wasn't having enough dirty diapers and my fear of her not eating enough kicked in, but she's ok)

So, our little family is trying to find its groove and its been hard, but rewarding all at the same time. Just when I think I can't do anymore, she looks at me and grins (ok, yeah, she has no clue what she's doing yet, but who cares) and everything is ok.

Aubrey telling us what she thinks of our dances

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The hardest week in my life

It's hard to believe it's already been a week since Aubrey was born. I kept thinking all day yesterday "What was going on this time last week?" Although I am 100% glad to not be pregnant anymore and have my child to hold, there is a part of me that wishes things were as easy as when I was pregnant. Aubrey did very well our first few days home. We had our first pediatrician appointment and she was 2 oz away from her birth weight, which I was glad to hear. She got constant attention from my mom, Todd, and all the other visitors. Allie and Bailey have done a good job accepting the change the house. Allie's main mission right now is to lick her, which I haven't let her, but I know it's coming. Bailey just tries to avoid her, which is ok for now. Todd and I even managed her first bath without too much drama. We even got glowing reviews at our lactation consultant appointment, which made me feel good.
First car ride home

First time asleep in the crib

But, with all that good comes the bad. And sleep deprivation is the worst. She is waking up about every 2 hours to eat at night. And it takes a little over an hour to nurse, change diaper, settle down and go back to sleep. So, do the math means I get to sleep about 45 minutes at a stretch. And Todd gets woken up about every 2 hours. I can't help but wonder if she's not eating enough because she nurses like a champ every single time and still wants to eat that often, but reading all the message boards tells me this is normal. But, normal is not so much fun right now. Especially when my nipples hurt as bad as they do and Todd and I both feel like walking zombies. But, those moments when she just stares at me with her little content face are the best. She has the most amazing blue eyes and I love to just stare at them forever. Until she starts screaming, then I just sigh and start the process over. Another bad thing is when she is awake, she doesn't like to be left alone. Ever. Which means someone has to hold her all the time. That was fine when Mom was here, because she was more than willing to oblige in the holding requests. But, now that I am doing most of it, it gets sort of tiring. We've tried out all the baby equipment to help soothe her, but the best thing I've found so far is my Moby wrap. This lets me strap her to my chest and be hands free, which lets me get some things done while she sleeps.

I keep thinking about that song "You're Going to Miss This" and that's what helps me get through those long waking stretches at night. She already looks different than she did this time last week and I know she is going to change so much more in the future. It almost pains me to think about it, but I know I will miss these moments we've had over the last week. Man, do I appreciate my parents so much more right now. This is hard, hard work.

Monday, February 2, 2009

January 26, 2009 -- A Day I'll Never Forget

This is the story of Aubrey's birth.

I woke up on Sunday, the 25th about 8 AM and didn't feel really well. My back had stopped hurting, but I was noticing a lot more pain in my stomach area. It really didn't feel like contractions so I just choked it up to more pregnancy pains. We had several errands to run that day, but while we were out, I kept having these sharp pains that would make me stop in mid step. By 7:30 pm, I noticed these pains were starting to get some consistency. Todd thought we should start timing them, so when we did, we were surprised that they were 15 minutes apart. I kept thinking this can't really be the start of labor. It was so uneventful, but I started to get excited anyway. We tried to go to bed at 10:00, but the contractions were pretty painful and consistent, so sleep was impossible. I got aggravated with Todd because he actually did manage to fall asleep and I needed him to keep timing. He told me he was timing and we noticed they were getting closer and closer. By 4:30 AM, the contractions were 4-7 minutes apart and really painful. I called the doctor's office and the nurse on call told me they needed to be consistently 5 minutes apart before I could go to the hospital. I started crying because I really wanted to get the show on the road. Finally, by 6:30, contractions were 5 minutes and under and I was in so much pain. I called the doctor's office and finally got the ok to come on in to the hospital.

I got to the hospital at 7:30, they checked me and I was 2-3 cm dilated and I was ecstatic. The Dr. Vuong noticed that I was in a lot of pain and said I could get my epidural. It was heavenly after that. I just chilled in my room while the contractions came and went. They started pitocin to speed up the contractions a little bit, but I never really noticed. They kept switching me from side to side and they ended up leaving me on my right side too long, which led to my epidural draining to the right side, so I started feeling contractions on my left. They tried to roll me back to my left side, but they had trouble keeping her on the heart rate monitor and there was discussion of hooking up the fetal scalp electrode and I really didn't want that. So, they cut my pitocin off and brought the anesthesiologist back in for my 2nd bolus. After they gave that bolus, my blood pressure dropped and they started me on epinephrine. Things kept moving along and they turned the pitocin back on. About 4:30, they took my temperature and noticed it had gone up to 101.1. I was kind of out of it at this point, but mom was getting worried. They went to tell Dr. Vuong and she wanted to start me on antibiotics. So, about 8:00, they did another exam and told me I was complete and ready to push. I was so glad because the pressure to push to was so intense. I was amazed by how awesome it felt once I started pushing. I was so much more focused, but it was such hard work. I was so tired at this point that I didn't think I would make it since I had been awake for over 36 hours. Somehow, I kept on pushing and by 1o:00, the nurse said that I wasn't making enough progress and said we might have to start talking alternative methods. They weren't sure if Aubrey might be too big or stuck. I was crying because I really didn't want forceps or a vacuum, and she said it might mean a C-section. I said I'll be damned. I had been pushing my butt off for 2 hours and I didn't want to have deal with the recovery of a C-section and pushing. After doing another exam, they realized Aubrey’s head was cocked to the side a little bit, which is what was slowing down progress. I really bore down and pushed and by 10:40, they called in Dr. Vuong and the rest of the delivery team. After what seemed like forever, I heard them say her head was out and then they were putting her on my chest. I was crying like a baby and amazed that this little girl was mine. After Todd cut the cord, they took her to the warmer. I noticed they were spending a lot of time dealing with her and frustrated they weren't bringing her back to me. I noticed a lot more people come in the room to work on her. I was so out of it and uncomfortable because Dr. Vuong was repairing my tear (2nd degree, not so bad.), but when they told me they were taking Aubrey to the NICU, I lost it. She was having problems breathing and they wanted to monitor her more closely. I was so distraught that I couldn't hold her or nurse her. It was so hard to watch them carry her out of the room but I couldn't go. Dr. Vuong finished my repair and the rest of the family came in. I don't remember much after this, but I know they started letting people in the NICU to see her and I was so upset I still hadn't held her yet. Everybody kept coming back in to tell me how beautiful she was and that made me so mad because I wanted her. I think it made Mom mad, too because she finally got me a wheelchair and they rolled me down to the NICU. I finally got to hold her again and was in amazement. I just sat there and stared at her. Leaving her in that room that night was the hardest part of that night. Even harder than pushing or dealing with contractions. But, I did leave her and had them take me back first thing in the morning.

The hardest part of her being in the NICU was not knowing what was really happening or when she could come out. I learned later that they wanted to rule out several diagnoses but they wouldn't have results for a while. I later learned I had chorioamnionitis while I was in labor. That infection and the antibiotics, combined with 3 hours of pushing led to Aubrey being stressed during delivery and which caused the breathing problems. Mom said that I probably got the infection because I had so many internal exams that could have introduced the infection. They kept her on antibiotics and fluids while in the NICU, but mainly she was there for observation.
They finally decided that Aubrey would be ok and they called at 10:30 Wednesday morning and told me they were discharging her from the NICU. I was so happy to finally have my little girl in my room. The first night with her in my room was really rough with her, but having her was what mattered.
Minutes after birth

Aubrey in the NICU.