Brand new life
Wow – it has been a week already since my last posting. And what a week it has been! Our lives are forever changed. I am afraid I have so much to write about that this will be the longest posting ever.
We went in on the evening of Tuesday, April 19th, to have labor induced. My parents came that evening to stay at our house and take care of Chloe, Molly, and Petey for us. Then we were off to the hospital. As you can see from the picture below, I was pretty stoked to finally get the show on the road.
Once we got to the hospital, the first step of induction was to get an iv hooked up. Unfortunately after a couple very painful attempts, the nurse was unable to get the iv inserted into my veins. So she went and got the anesthesiologist. He also had to attempt several times, in both my wrist and in the back of my hand. Getting an iv inserted is really painful! They finally got it in the back of my hand, which meant limited movement for that hand.
After that, they inserted some type of gel into my cervix, which softens it and helps bring about contractions. It did the trick; by the second installation of the gel the following morning (Wednesday) I was having pretty hefty contractions. I also began to have quite a bit of back pain. I got up and walked the halls for awhile to help with some of the pressure and also to let gravity help move things along (thanks Aunt Kay for great advice! 🙂 ) until I just couldn’t take it anymore and became too lightheaded to continue. Nurse Fran then suggested that I sit upright in a rocker chair rather than lay back in bed. That also helped relieve some of the back pain as well.
After awhile though, the back pain became unbearable. It wasn’t just during the contractions; it was constant, and I hadn’t had any pain medication up to this point. I couldn’t get comfortable and couldn’t stop crying. I called the nurse and asked if I could get my epidural. Unfortunately the anesthesiologist was in surgery right then so I had to sweat and cry it out for awhile. Greg was great; he did everything he could to help me through it. Then, the anesthesiologist came and gave me the blessed epidural. (Incidentally, getting it put into place was way less painful then getting the iv in my hand put into place.) I just cannot sing enough praises for the epidural. Once it took effect, the pain was gone and I was able to “enjoy” the next part of my labor. Why any woman would choose to give birth the “natural” way without an epidural is beyond my scope of thinking.
Once I got my epidural and also a very minimal dose of pitocin, things began to get underway pretty quickly. At about 6:00 p.m., active labor began and it was time to start pushing. By this time, I really could not feel the contractions. My doctor said that I might have to lower my epidural dose so I could feel them and be able to push effectively, but that she would let me try a few pushes first to see if that would be necessary. Well, that was all the motivation I needed! We relied on the monitor to help us know when a contraction was starting and I was able to prove myself worthy of pushing without having to actually feel the contractions. Whew-what a relief that was!
Greg was my labor and delivery coach and he did a fantastic job. He helped hold up one of my legs for each push and also counted to 10 to help me concentrate on pushing, four times for each contraction. I focused intently on his counting and it really helped me aim for the best push possible. He was also very encouraging and comforting. Nurse Nancy brought in a mirror for me so I could see the progress being made. That was pretty cool (and scary!) and did help my motivation.
When the head was about to crown, I started feeling intense pressure (well, pain really-the doctors always like to call it “pressure” when it really should be called pain) even with the epidural. I started getting a mental block at this point. One part of me didn’t want to push anymore because I knew the pain was about to intensify. The other part of me knew I needed to push as it was too late to turn back now and the sooner this baby was out, the better. And before I knew it, she was out. Sweet Relief! Well, mostly anyways. Adrianna Grace was born at 8:03 p.m. on April 20th. She weighed in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces and was 21 inches long. I did tear so I had to get stitches and the placenta still needed to be delivered. But she was placed on my belly and the reward of seeing her for the first time was just amazing. She had a major conehead from the delivery which I was concerned about, but the nurses assured me it was only temporary and thankfully it was. 🙂
Adrianna is such a beautiful baby and so alert. I am sure that as her mother I am very biased, but her grandparents and proud papa agree with me. It is so good to be home with her now. We are getting the breastfeeding thing down now, for which I am very thankful. The first couple days were pretty stressful for both Adrianna and myself. We still have not gotten into a routine and are not getting any sleep during the night (as expected), but overall Greg and I are really enjoying being parents. Parents. Wow, that is just weird to think of myself as a parent. A Mother. Responsible for such a precious child. I am forever changed.
Adrianna recognizes my voice. When she is hungrily fussing, if I talk to her to soothe her she immediately turns towards me and opens her mouth. It is pretty rewarding that she recognizes her momma but also funny that she thinks of feeding when she hears me.
We had to take her for her checkup at the doctor’s office yesterday. She got her first vaccination. She cried so hard and held her breath for SO long when they gave her the shot. Her cries broke my heart. But she is healthy and doing well according to the doctor.
Grandparents, family, and friends
My mom and dad were able to stay with us and help us out until Sunday. What a help and blessing they were! My mom videotaped Adrianna’s birth (not the gross stuff!) and I am so glad to have that on tape. My dad also took tons of pictures for us. At home, they both cooked us meals, helped out around the house, and even mowed our lawn. I don’t know how we would have coped without them. On Friday, my sisters showed up on our doorstep as a surprise. I was so glad to see them. They also brought my niece Ebony with them so she could meet her first cousin on the Yergler side. We got to see Brian two days in a row; he visited us in the hospital and then again on Friday evening.
Shad and Lynette happened to be in town on Thursday. They were so sweet and hung out with us at the hospital on Thursday and then stopped by at our house on Friday before they headed back to Omaha. I was also really glad a couple of my friends and coworkers, Heather and Juli, stopped by on Friday before we left the hospital. I cannot honestly say that I miss work, but I do miss seeing them on a daily basis.
Sunday evening Greg’s mother and sister arrived. His dad will be coming tomorrow and they will stay with us through Saturday. It has been such a help having them here. Marilyn has been cooking healthy meals for us and she and Kristi are such a help with Adrianna as well. Greg and I are really enjoying having them here and will be sorry to see them leave.
We were a little worried about how Adrianna would be received by Chloe and Molly. Before Adrianna came home from the hospital, a nurse gave my parents one of the little hats she had worn to bring home. My mom put it in the dogs’ kennel, and they really went to town sniffing it and investigating this new smelly thing. When we arrived home, we knew the dogs would have missed us and so we decided to give them some undivided attention from the start. We put Adrianna (in her carrier) up on the table out of the way and lavished praise and adoration onto Chloe and Molly, who in turn gladly reciprocated with much love, excitement, and kisses. We then held up each dog so that they could sniff Adrianna. They were of course very curious about this new little bundle. Chloe and Molly have both adjusted very well to Adrianna’s presence. They are still very curious about her, but they are very well behaved around her. They are also beginning to be a little protective of her as well, which is cool to see. I am so proud of my pups.
Greg is such a good father. He is so good with Adrianna and does not shy away from any task concerning her, including diaper changes. I am so excited that we are embarking on this adventure together. I love Greg so much, and it is amazing how that love and respect continues to grow as I watch him in his new role as the father of our child.