Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hatley-Grace, Week 1 at home

Hattie-Grace's first week at home in pictures :)
First bath

All warm and clean

Snoozing in her bunny seat, thanks Erin and Stacy!

Driving back to the hospital to be tested for jaundice, again.  This girl is a trooper in the car!

Snuggles with Grandpa!


Hattie-Grace modeling her big bows :)

One with Mama

New Grandparents!

New Auntie B

Tired Mama

Love those cheeks! 

Stretching out, so big!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Hattie-Grace's birth story, Part 3

We had to stay in the hospital for 48 hours after HG's birth to see results of her blood work, which meant more nights in the hospital.  Marty and I were able to stay in the labor and delivery room until late afternoon with HG.  We enjoyed getting to know her, learning how to nurse, snuggling and recovering from the evening.  Then we moved upstairs to a recovery room.  This room was not as spacious as the L&D room, but Marty was excited to have a bed to sleep in :)  Wednesday evening we had some visitors from church, and some of our girlfriends brought us Panera salads for dinner and Rita's water ice :)   

 Wednesday night we learned what our life was going to look like with Hattie-Grace at home.  They did not have a nursery at this hospital, so HG roomed in with us.  A sweet nurse came in to wake me every 2 1/2 hours to feed HG, to check vitals and give me medicine, etc.  We didn't get much rest, yet we learned better how to care for HG once we got home.  Thursday, we adjusted more to caring for HG, Marty ran some errands that I had planned on doing after my appointment on Tuesday.  We made lots of calls, wrote e-mails, and relaxed.

Marty's first diaper change

Lots of snuggle time

First hair bow shot (parents are getting bored in the hospital)

Friday morning we were discharged to go home.  Hattie-Grace tested high for jaundice, so we had to return to the hospital on Saturday and Sunday to have her levels checked again.  On Friday she tested 10.5, Saturday was 14 and Sunday was 14.  At our doctors appointment on Monday, the doctor was not worried about her levels.  Also, she had started to gain back the weight she lost in the hospital.  She was born at 8 lbs. 9.7 oz., dropped to 8lbs. 6oz in the hospital and by Monday was albs. 8 oz.
About to leave the hospital 
Heading home 
 We love having her at home with us.  We are continuing to learn how to care for her best, and how to survive on little sleep.  She is so content, and doesn't cry unless she is hungry or has a dirty diaper.  We have been super busy preparing her nursery and enjoying visitors.  Thank you for sharing in this life changing experience with us, and I know we will only continue to fall in love with our little girl more and more.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hattie-Grace's birth story, part 2

* This is primarily so I remember the details of this special day, and so family and friends that live far away from us can feel a little bit closer *

5:00 pm: Once I was in my room, the nurse brought me a TON of paperwork to fill out.  Birth certificate info., social security number info., hospital forms, etc.  Marty and I were still undecided on whether we wanted to hyphenate her name, so I called to see what he wanted and went with his opinion.  It never crossed my mind that we could decide after she came, I just saw a big pile of papers and felt pressure to complete them (Lesson #1- Don't feel pressure to complete paperwork prior to delivery, you will be in the hospital at least 24 hours after the baby comes...plenty of time to finish paperwork).

6:20pm:  I started the induction a with a pill called Cytotec, which is inserted to dialate your cervix.  This drug is less aggressive than Pitocin, and is used prior to Pitocin in cases like mine where I was not dialated at all.  My doctors approved up to 4 doses of Cytotec, every 4 hours to jumpstart labor.  If that did not work, we would switch to Pitocin.  After the pill was inserted, I had to lay in the bed and be monitored for an hour.

7:00 pm: I was able to get up and walk around the hospital with Anne and Robyn.  I'm so thankful to have had friends with me, and to have not started this process on my own.

8:00 pm: Marty arrived at the hospital around 8, and we said our goodbyes to Anne and Robyn.  At this point, I was starting to have contractions.

10:30 pm: The nurse gave me the second dose of Cytotec, and I was just shy of 1cm dialated.  The nurse guessed it would be another 24 hours or so of labor, so we decided to get some sleep.  I believe she said, We've got a long night ahead.  Very encouraging :)  I got ready for bed, and just laid there listening to the monitors.  My contractions got closer and closer together, and more painful, and I tossed and turned as Marty attempted to sleep on the couch.  (Lesson #2- There are no beds in the labor and delivery room, husbands bring an air mattress or extra blankets for padding).

2:30 am: It was time for my third dose of Cytotec.  The nurse informed me that my contractions were too close together, and that I was in natural labor on my own and didn't need medication.  I tossed and turned in the bed for a while, grabbing the railing through each contraction, but didn't want to wake Marty because I thought I was going to be in labor for many many hours to come because of the nurse's prediction ( Lesson #3- Don't believe everything the nurse says).

4:30 am: I needed to get out of bed and walk through my contractions.  Marty and I walked the halls of the hospital, stopping every 2-3 minutes or so.  I had to bend over and hold the railing and breath through my contractions.  Marty remembers me saying "Everyone was lying, there is no resting between contractions! They just keep coming and coming!"...I have forgotten that sweet comment :)

5:30am: I was 3 cm, and decided to stand under the shower for a while.  That helped a ton!  I had strong contractions for about an hour or so.

At 7am, the nurse approached me about having the anesthesiologist talk to me about the epidural, because I had not decided on whether I wanted it.  While I was talking to him, my water broke.  The anesthesiologist left so the nurse could check, and she confirmed that my water broke and that I was 7cm.  The anesthesiologist came back in and honestly I have no idea what he said because I was laboring through contractions while trying to have a conversation ( Lesson #4- Decide about if and when you want the epidural prior to going to the hospital).

I told him I needed to talk it over with my husband, and he left the room.  As I turn to Marty, the strongest contraction yet came over me.  There was no talking to be done, I just firmly and possibly loudly said "I need the epidural, I need the epidural!"

7:30 am: The benefit of delivering at a small hospital is that you don't have to wait on the epidural.  Good ole' Chris the anesthesiologist came right in.  Marty had to leave the room (he missed all the fun) and the sweet nurse helped me sit super uncomfortably still through the worst contractions yet.  It took about 20-30 minutes to get the epidural in, apparently my back is very tight/muscular and they had a hard time finding a spot.  The nurse checked me and I was 9 cm, and they rushed to call the doctor.
Of course, the doctor on call was the only doctor I had not met during my prenatal care, and the only man in the practice.  I thought that this would bother me, yet in the battle of labor with the epidural just starting to work, I could have cared less.  (Lesson #5-  You don't care who sees what when you are at 9cm and about to have a baby).

8:00 am: I was 10 cm, and starting pushing with the nurse and Marty.  Marty was very involved in this part of the labor, much more than he expected.  He did a great job, and just followed the lead of the nurse.  The epidural began to work at this point, and each contraction got more manageable.  I still had total control over my legs and felt each contraction to know when to push.  This was my biggest concern in getting the epidural, I wanted to feel in control of my body and I did the entire time.

8:15 am:  The doctor arrives, suits up and gets the bed ready...very much like a super hero.  Marty was so relieved that he would not be helping the nurse deliver the baby :)

8:30 am:  Hattie-Grace was born.  They put her right on my chest and I was able to cuddle with her for a long time!  What a wonderful blessing!  She was 5lbs. 9.7oz. and 19 inches long.  She had/has a full head of brown hair, and light eyebrows and eye lashes.  She was given an APGAR score of 8-9.

Meeting Hattie-Grace

Part 3 to come...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hattie-Grace's Birth Story, Part 1

I went to the doctor for my 37 week appointment on Tuesday, the 11th.  In the backseat of the CRV, I had my Target bag with returns and in my purse was a LONG list of errands that I was going to do after my appointment.  Living in Citrus County, we have to do our shopping while we are in bigger towns, which is where my doctor's office is.   Marty was in Hilton Head, SC at Breakaway, the high school summer retreat, so I had planned plenty of time to finish nesting.

I met with one of the five doctors in the practice.  This was my first time meeting her, she is the head doctor of the practice, and it took me all the way until my 37 week appointment to meet her.  We listened to the heartbeat and she asked if I had had any contractions to which I replied no just Braxton hicks I think.  She checked and confirmed that I was not dilated, which was a relief to hear since Marty was out of town.  Then she measured me, and again, I measured small.  I also had not gained any weight since my last appointment.  She decided to do an ultrasound to see how the baby was measuring.  I had this done a few weeks prior, and was not too worried because of the good results last time.  I went up front to make my appointment for the ultrasound, and they had one available in an hour.  Since we live 45 minutes away from the doctor, I was happy to take that appointment and not have to come back later in the week.  I called Marty to tell him the news, and read some magazines while waiting for the ultrasound.

Ashley, the sweet ultrasound tech, called me back.  The ultrasound showed that the baby had not grown much, and was measuring around 35 weeks, and not 37 weeks and 5 days.  Then sweet Ashley said she needed to speak with the doctor, and that she would be back.  This is the point where I actual realized something could be wrong with our sweet baby.  She came back and checked my fluid levels, they were at a 5, which is low.  She checked a few other things, and again said she would go talk to the doctor.  The worry began to build.  Ashely came back to tell me the doctor wanted to talk to me.

I went into another office, and the doctor told me the results of the ultrasound.  She told me, "your baby is not thriving, and I don't see any reason to keep you pregnant."

I thought, What? But my nursery isn't ready, we haven't decided on the name completely, I haven't frozen all the meals, I haven't packed my bags, I haven't cleaned the bathrooms, I am just not ready for her to come!  

Induction was not really an option in my mind at that point.  I thought maybe they would give me vitamins to supplement, or restrict exercise, or bed rest at worse, but not induction.  Induction was the last thing that I wanted for my "birth plan", really the only thing I was very opinionated about for my "birth plan".  Everyone I knew that had been induced, ended up laboring for days and then having a c-section.  I tried to bargain with the doctor, I told her my husband was out of town, I asked if there were other options.  She told me that she would not agree to let me wait until tomorrow and that I needed to go to the hospital right away to be induced.  She said she could not guarantee that the baby would make it through the night.  She said that the baby could be born stillborn if we waited.

At this point, I realized the severity of this news.  Of course I would go to the hospital, even if I had to labor for days and have a c-section.  In my heart, I felt like the baby was okay, she was just fine, she was just little and that is the way God knew she would be and designed her to be...but I had to follow the doctors orders.  The doctor went to call the hospital to prepare a room for me, told me that since I was not dilated at all the induction could take days but it is what is best for the baby.

I called Marty, and he reacted better than I expected.  He got on the road right away and made all the arrangements for people to take me to the hospital.  As I got home, I was met by friends to take me to the hospital, and friends at our house ready to clean and get the house ready for our return.  We are so blessed by our community here, ready to step up at a moment's notice and lend a helping hand! They helped me finish packing my bags, and Anne and Robyn and I headed to the hospital.  I got all checked in and settled in the room by about 5pm.  Here I am sporting my awesome hospital gown...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hatley-Grace has arrived!

I should be posting my 38 week baby bump picture and pregnancy update right now, yet I am holding my little girl instead! :)

Marty and I welcomed our sweet daughter into the world on June 12 at 8:30am.  She was 5lbs. 9.7oz and 19 inches long.  I was induced in the evening on Tuesday, June 11 due to Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR).  She is healthy and strong, and we are loving getting to know her and learning how to be a family of 3.  I will share more of our birth story in another post.  Thank you for all of your text messages, emails, phone calls, etc.  We felt your prayers during the delivery and our recovery at the hospital.  Enjoy some pictures of Hattie-Grace...

Lots bigger than we anticipated!  
Sweet checks 

Pure joy 

Day 2...First hair bow! 

Marty's first diaper change

Ready to go home, Friday June 14

Our brand new family of three, Friday June 14

Going home, first car ride

Monday, June 10, 2013

37 weeks...full term!

Size of the baby? About 6 1/3 lbs. and 19 inches long

Belly button? Getting flatter, I'm not sure it has the ability to be out, we'll see

Sleep? My nights are interupted frequently by bathroom trips. I'm getting uncomfortable with sleeping on my side, and often find myself on my back in the morning.

Cravings? Lots of peanut butter, veggies, sweet potatoes, ice-cream, greek yogurt. I'm wanting to snack a lot and not have a lot of full meals.

Symptoms? Afternoon tiredness and braxton hicks more often

What do I miss? My summer clothes, diet coke/diet dr pepper

Best moments of the week? Making it to the 37 week milestone. Junebug is a fully developed, healthy little girl as far as we know right now. We are so blessed and very excited to meet her soon!

Marty is still working on the dresser, so I can't finish her room yet, but the details are coming together slowly but surely. All the newborn clothes are washed and in a drawer organizer. Her name is picked out and we are excited to share that with family and friends when she arrives. All her swaddle blankets and sheets are washed. Cloth diapers have arrived, I have made some cute burp cloths, bags are packed (as well as they can be), some meals have been frozen. I still feel like there is a long "to do" list left, but we are excitedly awaiting her arrival soon! We have another appointment tomorrow :)

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Monday, June 3, 2013

36 weeks

Size of the baby? About 6 lbs. and 18 1/2 inches long

Belly button? Still in, but getting pretty flat

Sleep? I'm looking pretty tired in this picture because I'm having a harder time sleeping. I get up about 3-4 times a night, and wake up early not being able to go back to sleep.

Cravings? Watermelon, peanut butter, ice-cream, pretzels, sweets are more appealing now than before. I'm hungry a lot more now, yet just want lots of smaller snacks throughout the day.

What do I miss? Diet coke, my flat belly

Symptoms? Joint pain in my hips, charlie horse cramps, nesting

Best moments of the week? We had an appointment today and her heartbeat sounded great. I've also grown a lot since my last appointment. I am measuring 33/34 cm which is only a little smaller than I should be measuring right now which is about 36/37 cm. Baby girl is measuring in the 33%. I now will go to the doctor every week until she arrives. No progression yet, but head is down which is a big blessing!

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