Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Planting My Placenta

*Don't worry - I chose not to post photos of the actual placenta!

When you’ve lost a loved one, you are constantly looking for a sign from them...
...and I’ve luckily had a few signs in the past year from my dad.  
When I found out I was pregnant, the doctor confirmed my due date...and of all the days in the entire year, 
my due date fell on my dad's 64th birthday, June 12th - I knew it was a sign.
I had my 40 week appt the day before my due date, and there was zero progress. 
Zero centimeters dilated, 0% effaced, zero signs of labor anytime soon.
Then, the morning of my due date (dad’s bday) my water broke! Sign #2! 
Call me crazy but I think my dad had a part in my water breaking that morning!  Thanks, Dad!
So what does this all have to do with my blog subject of planting a placenta?
Well, last year on Father's Day, I planted this tree in honor of my dad...and this year on Father's Day I wanted to plant something extra special under the tree. 
So I signed the hospital waiver forms to take home my placenta, so that I could plant it under my dad's tree.
We kept the placenta at the hospital for four days, and then kept it in our garage fridge for a few days so we could plant it on Father's Day. It just seemed to be a lot more meaningful to plant it on the actual day - so luckily the timing worked out perfectly and the organ was still fresh. 
CV dug the hole and I gently placed my placenta in the ground.
Now, the organ that kept Leah alive and healthy for nine months can now nourish my dad's tree. It will help it grow strong so it can continue to look over our house and be a reminder everyday that my dad is still with us - 
even on the days where there isn't any signs.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Our First Month with Leah

Our first month with our sweet daughter was amazing....and very very BUSY!
We had so many visitors as so many people wanted to meet Leah.
The in-laws were in town the first week. My mom, sister and niece were here the second week, and my four best friends visited the last week of the month! (and a lot of friends in town popped over too)
Most of the visitors were very helpful, they cooked meals, changed diapers, fed Leah a bottle, and allowed me to nap and although it was a stressful and overwhelming month...I was lucky to get a lot of help from family and friends.
So far, Leah has been the easiest baby. She's pretty content throughout the day and only gets fussy when she's hungry or when she wants to be held. She's a happy baby and smiles in her sleep all the time, which is the cutest thing to watch. She is growing so quickly...and it's very noticeable. PJs that we once had to fold the sleeves up because they were too big - are now becoming too short! It's so fun to watch our little princess growing and being a healthy little girl!

One Month Update:
Weight: You came into the world at 7 pounds and 4 ounces, and at your one month appointment you were 9 pounds and 2 ounces. (30 percentile) Yay for growing!!
Height: You were born at 20 inches, and at your one month appointment you were 21.5 inches. (60 percentile) (Also, your head measurement was in the 40 percentile)
Diapers: You are still in newborn diapers. You've tried Pampers, Huggies, and Honest diapers.
The Honest diapers are the cutest of course, but Pampers is our top pick so far. I love the moisture line on them that tells you when baby has a wet diaper.
Clothing: You are still in newborn clothing, but a lot of your onsies are getting too short, so we will have to upgrade to size 0-3month very soon.  You love wearing onsies with little pants, rompers, and you like being in your PJs. You are content in a headband, but I always think they are making you uncomfortable so I don't put them on you unless we are doing something special.
Eating: You are a great little eater. For your first week, we had you on breastmilk and formula to flush out your jaundice, but now you are 100% breastmilk. Since you were on formula, it took you a while to get used to nursing since you were so used to taking a bottle, but by week 3 you were a pro and latch on perfectly every time. Right now you are eating about 2-3oz every 2-3 hours...but sometimes if I'm nursing you will cluster feed and are hungry every hour.
Sleeping: The first week was pretty rough as you slept all day and was up all night. But lately your sleeping has been amazing. You usually sleep about 5-6 hours straight at night. You wake up to eat and then you sleep for 2-3 more hours. I hope you keep it up!
You sleep in the Rock n' Play sleeper right next to my side of the bed. We tried a bassinet, but you don't really like to sleep flat on your back. During the day, you take naps in the Mamaroo in the living room...or in mommy's arms.
Social: You are a social little butterfly. You love when people are holding you and you can pretty much get comfortable in anyone's arms. You haven't really cried while anyone has held you, which makes me proud!
Bath time: Your first two sponge baths were horrible...but I blame myself for that one since I had no idea what I was doing and probably made it super uncomfortable. After my mom visited (and after the cord fell off), she taught us how to give a proper bath so now you love bath time.  You cry for a minute when you're cold - but you love the warm water on your body.
Daddy: CV is doing great in his new role as a daddy, he always changes your first diaper in the morning before he goes to work...and he feeds you your last bottle at night and gets you ready for bed. You have a fussy time around 9pm, and he usually calms you down for that. You love staring at him and he loves giving you lots of kisses.
Mommy: As for me, breastfeeding was a huge task that I had to conquer, as well as, trying to get on a schedule for the day. Sometimes you eat every hour during the day - so that makes it a little harder to get anything else done. Most of my days consisted of feeding you, changing diapers, pumping, cleaning bottles...and repeat x8. I'm exhausted and usually unshowered, but it's still the best job I've ever had.
I had "baby blues" for the first two weeks and cried A LOT. Sometimes it was for a good reason - and sometimes I was just super hormonal and had no idea why I was crying. Emotions are crazy after having a baby! I also had "night sweats" and woke up so sweaty. Luckily both of these crazy side effects went away! 
I gained a total of 37 pounds in pregnancy - and so far I've lost 21 pounds. I still have 16 pounds to lose. I have a 6 week checkup soon and hopefully the doctor will clear me to workout. I can't wait to have my pre-baby body back.
Likes: being held, babywearing, rock n' play, rain sounds, being rocked, bath time, looking at lights.
Dislikes: Waiting for a bottle to warm up, sitting in a car seat, not being held, photoshoots lasting more than 5 minutes.
That's my one month update! It's two weeks late - but hey - I'm taking care of a baby over here!! :)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Birth Photography

While we were in the hospital, I hired a photographer to come a few hours after Leah was born...
 Here we are as a new family...
I will treasure these photos and memories forever! 
Our first day with our daughter!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The "0" Birthday + First 3 Days

Since Leah was born at 12:18am, we had the entire day to celebrate her birthday.
(See birth story here)
We started off the day with a LONG nap, followed by an equally long shower, took some hospital photos (I'll share those soon!), chatted with a few visitors, and had a "0" birthday party.
My amazing friend Alison was the mastermind behind Leah's 0 Birthday Party at the hospital. It was complete with a Happy Birthday banner, a huge "0" balloon, pink champagne (that I couldn't drink since I was breastfeeding), streamers, party hats, and a confetti cake topped with a "0" candle.
Our friends Chris, Heather, Alison and Aron were all there to celebrate Leah!
We sang Happy Birthday to Leah and I helped her blow out her candle. It was such a great day and I'm so glad we got to celebrate this little lady coming into our lives.
The rest of our hospital stay went "ok".  We found out on Day 2 that Leah had jaundice since we had incompatible blood types and needed to be wrapped with a biliblanket.
She stayed in our room for a couple hours with the blanket, but unfortunately the blanket didn't help so they had to take her to the hospital nursery so she could stay "under the light". 
See the blue glow in the photo under Leah...that's the biliblanket at work!
It was really hard to have Leah taken from our room...she had to sleep overnight in the nursery so they could watch her bili levels. I woke up in the middle of the night several times and walked over to check up on her....she looked so tiny.
And since she was under the light for so long - that meant I couldn't breastfeed her. I pumped in my room (my milk wasn't in yet - but I pumped anyways). And they had to feed her formula from a bottle in the nursery. On Day 2, I knew breastfeeding was going to be a challenge for us - she has already been eating from a bottle, and the pediatrician wanted me to continue to give her formula for a week to flush all the jaundice out of her system. (More on that later!)
Luckily, they retested her bili levels on Day 3 and her number went down enough for us to go home! We packed our bags and were so excited to get out of the hospital, go home...and see Paisley. :)

So glad to be home!! :)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Leah's Birth Story

Hi everyone! I'm finally back to share the amazing birth story of sweet little Leah. 
Let's just jump right into it...

The day before my due date I had my final 40 week doctors appointment.  The doctor checked my cervix, and just like every week leading up to it, I was 0cm dilated and 0% effaced. It looked like our little girl wasn't in any rush to come out. The doctor said she would call me the next day with an induction date for the following week.  CV and I both left the appointment a little disappointment, but we thought..."at the most...we will meet her in one week!"

I woke up the next morning on my due date, feeling completely normal, and started getting ready for work.  I took a shower, and as always, I stand in a towel while I blow dry my hair and put on my makeup.  Well, as I was standing in the bathroom blow drying my hair.....a trickle of "water" ran down my legs.  I immediately thought I peed myself and ran to the toilet and sat down.  I emptied my bladder...and then continued to blow dry my hair.  Then, it happened again....and I knew at that point my water had broke.  CV was in the shower in our other bathroom, so I just patiently waited for him to come out, and continued to fix my hair. (I mean, I can't go to the hospital with wet hair!) ha!  CV finally got out of the shower and I said "sooooo....either my water just broke, or I just peed myself twice!" And happened again, more water trickled down my leg.

We honestly were both very calm about the whole thing. Chris called the doctor to tell them my water broke, they told us to head to the hospital right away, I packed my last minute hospital bag items, snapped one last bump date photo, and we got in the car and were on our way to the hospital!! :)

When we got to the hospital, the nurse confirmed my water had broke. She said I was now 1cm dilated and 80% effaced.  Since I was only 1cm dilated, they had to start pitocin right away to speed up the labor. They gave me an IV (my first IV) and all that fancy stuff and sent us to the delivery floor where CV and I walked around the hospital floor to speed up the labor. I started feeling major contractions! We finally had to sit in our room because walking was pretty hard when my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.
Every few hours I would ask them to check my cervix...thinking "I HAVE to be at least 5cm by now"....and every time I was only 1cm! Which is very frustrating after going through all those contractions! Finally, the contractions got so strong I had to ask for my epidural. I think I was only 2cm at this point, but at least 7+ hours into labor.  I was feeling soooooo good after the epidural!
CV's best friend stopped by to bring CV lunch and they played cards while I rested. It was a nice distraction for the both of us! 
I find these photos hilarious! Not a lot of husbands have time for a game of Rumy while their wife is in labor!! haha.
About this time, I was relaxing and the nurse came in to check my cervix and she finally said "great news, you are now 5cm dilated!" We were super excited to hear good progress! 
Then, all the sudden another nurse comes in and puts an oxygen mask on me, which for some reason I thought was standard practice since I felt fine.  Then, my nurse got on the phone and called in a "code red" to my room. I looked at CV confused, like, what in the world is going on. 
Ten doctors rushed into the room, one gave me a shot in the leg, others were checking on the baby, etc., others were prepared for an emergency operation. I was FREAKING OUT and crying behind my oxygen mask - and I couldn't even hold CV's hand since they had pushed him out of the way! I had no idea what was going on.  
Apparently, my blood pressure went way down, and the babies heart rate dropped drastically and it was down for 5 minutes.....
Luckily, the doctors were able to help us. They removed my waist monitors for contractions and heart rates and attached it internally on the babies head for a more accurate reading to keep an eye on her. 
I wore the oxygen mask for a while and finally everything was good. Shew!
Definitely a terrifying experience!
The rest of the day was just waiting around..."waiting" for the doctor to finally tell me it was time to push. I slowly kept progressing from 5cm, to 7cm, to 9cm (where I was for the last few hours), to 10cm....and then we had to wait for me to be fully effaced. 
Finally at 11:30PM (15+ hours after my water broke), it was time to start pushing. 
The doctors set up a mirror so I could watch the entire birth happen. I  didn't think I would want to watch something like that at all, and I KNEW I didn't want CV to look....but after seeing my baby crowning and coming into the world, I couldn't help but stare and yell at CV to "look now! This is incredible!!". It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
45 minutes of pushing and we finally got to meet our beautiful daughter at 12:18am!
The doctors put her right on my chest (and she immediately peed and pooped on me!) and cleaned her all up while she was laying on me. She was absolutely beautiful and we couldn't stop staring at each other. 
Then, they took her away for a few short minutes to measure her and get her weight. 
She was 7 pounds and 4.4 ounces and 20 inches long.
 We stayed in the delivery room for a few hours before heading to the recover room...I breastfed for the first time and we both just soaked up all our time with our little one.
The entire day was purely incredible and I'm so glad that it happened exactly the way it did.
Little Leah is finally here and she's perfect!