Sunday, November 29, 2009

Outings, Outings and More Outings

Depot one day and the Park and the Grocery another day! It's so nice to actually get out of the house, but amazing how much of an effort it takes - not just to get Katie ready, but how much it wears physically on me!

This afternoon, we took our first family trip to a nearby park and walked for approximately 30 minutes, and then sat on a bench, chatted, and enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was such an enjoyable afternoon, and no question that Katie loved every second of it (she slept the entire time)!

Here are a couple pictures from our family fun day:

Smyrna Baby and Smyrna Mama have had a big weekend - HH Gregg and Home

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh the things we do for our kids...

Honestly, I never had any idea how difficult it would be to eliminate dairy from my diet. Last night, after not being 100% full from Thanksgiving dinner since I couldn't eat the mashed potatoes, sweet mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie (all contained milk), I found myself scouring the kitchen for anything I could possibly eat.

Microwave Popcorn? No - contains milk
15-Grain Bread? No - contains low fat milk in the ingredients
Peanut Butter? No - only because now I am concerned she will get a peanut allergy

The list goes on and on...

I finally settled on a bowl of plain oatmeal with a tad bit of sugar and a cup of tea just to tie me over until morning.

And, all because Katie MAY have a possible milk protein allergy. Yes, obviously, I could completely throw in the towel on breastfeeding and resort to only giving her formula, but that's not an option in my book. Breastfeeding Katie is very important to me, and if I need to give up my favorite food group in order for her to receive the benefits from my milk, then so be it!

The good news is that my lactation consultant told me earlier that there is a good chance she will grow out of this within 3 months. 90 days...12 weeks...

Yes, the countdown is on!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season, with the most obvious being Baby Katie! I still cannot believe that she is here, after being inside me for just shy of 10 months. I am so thankful for our happy/healthy family and that Smyrna Grandmother has been able to be here to help us for the past 2 weeks. She leaves tomorrow, which has put me in tears several times today, but at least we know she will come back soon (please???)!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Milk/Protein Allergy

Yesterday, while at the doctor's office, we discovered that Katie had a tiny bit of blood in her dirty (stool) diaper. Her pediatrician immediately tested it, and learned that it definitely was blood. Last night, we had to get 3 stool samples to take back to be re-tested today, and just learned that Katie has a possible milk/protein allergy.

From what I have read, this is fairly common in newborns/infants, and odds are she will grow out of this by the time she is one. We have to discontinue all use of the regular Similac formula for supplementation, and switch over to a hypoallerginic formula called Alimentum. While this formula is a bit more on the expensive side, the good news is that she isn't using that much per day, and hopefully by next week will solely be on breast milk.

Probaby one of the biggest downfalls to this situation is that I will have to discontinue all use of dairy products until either a) the blood disappears or b) until I stop breastfeeding all together. Me without cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, milk? Wow. Once again, welcome to the world of motherhood, but you have to do what you have to do to keep Baby Katie as healthy as can be.

More details on this type of allergy can be found here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weight Check #2

We ventured out of the house again today - the first time in 7 days - to head over to the pediatrician for weight check #2. Looks like Baby Katie has been gaining some weight over the past week, but not as much as the pediatrician would like her to have gained.

If you recall, when she was born she weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz. When she was discharged from the hospital, she weighed 7 lbs, 4 oz. Today, 7 days after her first weight check, she weighs 7 lbs, 7 oz. Her doctor advised us that she would prefer for Katie to be gaining 1 oz/day until she is back at her birth weight.

Our plan of attack, at this moment, is to supplement 3 oz of formula/day, and possibly try to squeeze in one additional breastfeeding to see if that won't do the trick. We go back next week for one final (hopefully) check.

Here is a picture of Baby Katie hanging out with her Dad!

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Where is the Baby?"

The number of times one of us has woken up in the past week, in a complete panic, and asked, "Hun, OMG, do you have the baby?" is getting out of control. I suppose our subconcious is working in overtime after hearing a million and one stories about SIDS during our classes and hospital stay.

Smyrna Dad woke up one night convinced he had the baby, but didn't know where she was - and all while holding the comforter in a way that you would think she was swaddled. I woke up one night thinking that I had overheated the baby with the heating pad I was using, and later woke up in a cold sweat frantically looking for Baby Katie. I ripped off all of the covers, looked on the floor, freaked Smyrna Dad out before realizing that she was in Smyrna Grandmother's bedroom sound asleep.

Last night I woke up patting my pillow in the middle of the night, searching for her head because I was convinced I had stuffed her inside the pillow case by mistake and was suffocating her.

I can only imagine how we are going to react when she is in our room starting this Friday night! Welcome to the world of parenthood and the constant feeling of we need to do everything we can to protect our baby girl...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Katie's Modeling Career: The Beginning

Every parent, at some point, dreams of their child becoming a star and making the parents tons of money, right? Well, we decided to kick off our dream today and start Katie's modeling career! Big thanks goes out to my friend, Jody, for coming by today to photograph Baby Katie.

While the professional pictures will be posted and emailed once we receive them, here is a sneak peak of a shot we snapped while Jody was working her magic.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy 1 Week Birthday, Katie Bug!

All day yesterday, I found myself looking at the clock and thinking, "This time last week, we had just arrived to the hospital." Or, "This time last week, Katie had just been born and we were being wheeled into recovery." It's already been a week and I don't know where the time went.

In terms of her looks, I don't think Katie has changed all that much in the past 7 days - at least not as much as I thought she would. She is still just as alert as she was the day she was born and, of course, as beautiful as could be!

We have spent the past week getting to know one another and learning/studying breastfeeding and trying to get it nailed down. She absolutely loves being held, getting fed, sleeping on whomever will let her sleep on them and absolutely HATES having her diaper changed. As I told someone earlier, I have never seen an infant get so ticked off over a diaper change. No question we have a fiesty one on our hands! :)

We love her more and more every day. Happy 1-week birthday, little baby Katie!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Firsts...

We've had a couple "First" moments this week! For starters, Katie went, for the first time, to the pediatrician AND she had her first sponge bath since being released from the hospital. You better believe all "first" moments are being well-documented!

Her pediatrican classified her as "perfect" (as if we didn't already know that), and said that her weight was holding steady at 7 lbs 4 oz, which is what she weighed when she was discharged from the hospital. We will return to the pediatrician next week to make sure that she has put on some more weight. Overall, the trip was as smooth as could be. Smyrna Grandmother chauferred us to and from the doctor's office, Katie slept both car rides, and only freaked out for a little bit while they had her undressed in the office.

Last night we gave Katie her first sponge bath and what fun that was. Do you detect any sort of sarcasm in my writing? Honestly, overall, she did fairly well, but man does this baby girl have a temper on her! She starts crying, then screaming, then hyperventilating - and with good reason. Poor baby is cold and naked! No one likes that!! But, as soon as Brad started to wash her hair, she was in heaven! She would just look all around and was back to the peaceful Katie that we know.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Homecoming Pictures

Our little Smyrna Baby is ready to head home:

Our "family"!

Katie's first time in the carseat:

This is it - we are headed home!

On our way to start the next chapter of our lives together:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Homecoming!

Katie has arrived at her new home. Hard to believe that within a 5 day period, she has already had 3 homes - the womb, Northside Hospital, and now Smyrna. While I was looking forward to getting home, I didn't realize how much until we got here. All of the anxiety I was feeling immediately washed away when I sat down on the couch and started to feed Katie.

To be able to spend the evening at home with our baby girl, Smyrna Dad and Smyrna Grandmother couldn't have been better. We discussed our routine for the night, I fed her several times (every time I turned around it was time), ate dinner and then finally retired for the night.

We met with our lactation consultant for the final time yesterday morning and she put together an incredible plan for us. The ultimate goal was to have her sleep at least 5 hours throughout the night by giving her a couple bottles of pumped colustrum and 1-1.5 oz of formula mixed in. The consultant advised that I feed her one last time around 8:30, turn her over to Brad when she is finished around 9:30, pump as much colustrum as I can, and have Brad feed her what I pumped + the little bit of forumula at 10:30.

She also advised that we have Katie sleep in Smyrna Grandmother's room, in her bassinet, for the night. When she wakes up - hopefully not until 3:00 or so - S.G. would feed her the other bottle of pumped colustrum (approximately a 1/2 oz) + 1.5oz of formula and that will tie her over until approximately 8 or 8:30 this morning.

All of this enables Smyrna Mama to get 9+ hours of solid sleep, allows me to spend more time recovering and healing the "hole in my belly" (as the lactation consultant said repeatedly) and feel rested for a day filled with feedings.

Given that it's 7:40 in the morning, I am feeling great, Baby and Grandmother are sacked out, it looks like our master plan must've worked!

Initially, I was hesitant to have Katie supplement with formula, but I quickly realized that if we didn't go this route, several things would happen:

1. I wouldn't get the rest I need to help me heal.
2. Katie wouldn't start to level off with her weight loss (she was right at a 7% loss yesterday) by just relying on my colustrum, and we would be forced to supplement with formula as it was.
3. Smyrna Dad wouldn't get the rest he needs - especially since he is already back at work.

As long as the only times Katie is sleeping in 5 hour stretches is at night, Madeline (consultant) says it's fine. The goal is to get her accustomed right away to sleeping at night.

Now, we are expecting my milk to come in today, which means that our plan tonight will change since no matter what, I will need to release the milk somehow. Either I will get up to pump (consultant is OK with me doing this only a couple times a day) OR, I will get up to feed her. It's one of those things we will just play by ear!

Pictures to come later of our homecoming! Time to feed the little Katie Bug.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Birth Details

Katie is atively resting in Smyrna Daddy's arms while we all watch the Florida-SC game from our hospital room (and, while I snag a few minutes of Internet time)! While I will work on putting Katie's full birth story together, I wanted to give a few details of Katie's birth.

The C-Section started a tad bit later than we had planned because the epidural took longer to kick in than the doctors expected. I was wheeled into the O.R. at 1:20 where the nurses finished prepping/sterilizing the room and transferred me from the pre-op bed to the operating table. Brad was asked to stay in the hallway during this time, but we were reunited a short while later once they were ready to get the show on the road!

I had the most incredible nurse standing by the top of my head, walking me through every step of the procedure, getting me to take deep meditating breaths, and acting as an amazing support person for both Brad and I.

Before I knew it, the incision had been made and I was told that I would start to feel quite a bit of pressure as they pulled Katie from the inside of my body. They weren't joking either! My body was rocked back and forth, and even lifted off the table, as they tried to pry her out of what was apparently a very small space. I remember the nurse asking Brad to stand up if he wanted pictures of this incredible/miraculous moment, and to be prepared because our baby was going to be here any second.

The nurse told me the feet were out, and about 5-10 seconds later she told me the butt was out, but she couldn't see what the sex of the baby was. And, then, a moment that surprised us all - Dr. Dodder announced very happily that we had a baby girl!! As the both of us were sobbing, the nurse told me that she always knew it was a girl because she could tell Katie was "dancing" inside of me!

All of this happened in less than 6 minutes - from the time of the incision to the time she was born. 1:27 pm to 1:33 p.m.

The doctor quickly whisked her to the back of the room, where she was placed under a heat lamp and received her APGAR test. Katie scored an 8 at the 1-minute test and a 9at the 5-minute test (on a scale of 1-10). Perfect.

A short while later, Brad, Katie and some nurses went down the hall to the Post Op Recovery room where she was weighed, measured and bathed. Smyrna Baby Katie weighed 7lbs, 13 oz, was 20 1/4 inches long and had a 13" head! Brad was told she had the size of a head of a 10-lb baby, but thankfully she is extremely proportionate!

I was stiched and stapled up, moved into recovery, and not reunited with Brad and Katie until just before 3:00 in the afternoon. This moment was one that will forever be burned into my memory - absolutely incredible! The nurse asked if we wnated to have some "skin-to-skin" contact, which of course I jumped at the opportunity to do and asked if I could breast feed right away. Katie knew EXACTLY what to do -latched right on and went to town for about 10-15 minutes - perfect for her first feeding!

At approximately 4:00, we were moved out of recovery and upstairs to Room 572 - a corner room with 4 windows and an incredible view - to begin what will end up being a 5 day/4 night stay! 10-15 minutes later, Katie was introduced to her Grandmother Carole and Aunt Amber, and the sob fest started all over again!

We have spent the past couple days enjoying our time with Katie, learning to breastfeed, resting and recovering. To say the past 3 days have been perfect would not be doing it justice. I feel outstanding, especially given that I had my stomach cut open just over 48 hours ago, and am enjoying every second of this time with Katie, Brad, Carole and Amber.

While I am looking forward to going home and starting this next chapter in our lives, I am going to miss having people wait on me hand and foot!

Little Katie - 45 Hours Old

Well, as you all know, she is here! Of course, I had all intentions of blogging last night before bed, but between company, lactation consultation, constant feedings and pure exhaustion, I never got around to it. I realized I needed to prioritize and let sleep take over as opposed to my internet communication addiction!

As we enter into Day 2, Katie is an absolute angel. She only cries when she needs something and that seems to be to only let us know she hates getting her diaper changed! She is breastfeeding just fine, and both Smyrna Mom and Dad are getting into a good routine. As I write, she is laying all snuggled up in her hospital crib, staring at me type away!

Smyrna Mama is feeling pretty well - definitely 1,000 times better than last night. After c-sections, apparently you get really, really bad gas that travels through your system and if you can't/don't pass it, lets just say it gets VERY uncomfortable!! Needless to say, I have just had my 2nd cup of warm prune juice and am also drinking some warm chicken broth to help with my comfort level.

Katie and I have had a nice morning just the two of us - she ate while I ate, she slept in my arms for a little while, and I just got to change her diaper for the very first time! Thankfully she only blessed me with a little pee pee, unlike the surprises she has been leaving for her dad!

Not sure when I will head home from the hospital - right now I am very content staying here, getting the rest and the help I need. Recovery is definitely harder than I expected.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Last Belly Shots

Well, the time is here. I am packed, dressed and ready to head to the hospital. Overall, I feel good, but am really starting to get anxious. 3 hours and 30 minutes to go.

Here are a couple last belly shots for you!

The Last Meal

Well, it's 5:30 in the morning and we'll officially have a baby in less than 8 hours from right now! ACK! I have just finished eating my last solid meal for the next 24 hours, as well as had my last bit of liquids (48 oz of water) for the next several hours. As I was eating, I actually wondered if death row inmates shovel food in as fast as I did when they are sitting down for their last meal. I wanted to eat everything in site, even though my belly was so far distended, and realistically I wasn't even hungry. But, at least Smyrna Baby and myself have been fed - and all by 5:15 a.m, like the doctor ordered!

Time I started eating:

Evidence of the Last Meal:

All done!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Am Ready!

As all of you know, I have loved (almost) every second of being pregnant. Carrying this child with me for 9+ months has been such an incredible experience, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But, I can now honestly say "I am ready!!!". I am ready to meet this baby girl or boy, hold his/her hand/fingers, kiss him/her and take on this new and incredibly big challenge.

On top of all of those reasons, I have found myself thinking of the other reasons "I am ready" - in no particular order!

1. I will be able to sleep on my right side(baby's head is in the way right now), back or stomach once again.

2. I will be able to wash my face at the bathroom sink without getting water everywhere due to this belly being in the way.

3. A more diverse wardrobe.

4. No more concerns about what the doctors may say when I step on the scale (which, by the way, I gained a whopping 27 lbs this entire pregnancy)!

5. I will be able to walk up and down a flight of stairs without needing an oxygen mask or an asthma inhaler.

6. I will be able to walk the dog at a pace faster than a turtle.

7. Sushi, Wine and Beer.

8. No more parking fees at the doctor's office - I'd love to know how much I have spent in the past 9 months to park there for appointments!

9 I can lay in bed without my belly hitting my husband.

10. I can move onto the next phase in my life! :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We're Moving On Up...Moving On Up....

Wow, so many songs in my head. I go from Europe's "The Final Countdown" to "The Jefferson's" (TV Show) "Movin' On Up". And, why is that you ask? Well, my c-section has been bumped up from 5:15 Thursday afternoon to the 1:15 time slot! And, why am I so excited about this? Well, because I don't have to wait ALL DAY LONG to eat! OK, there may be other reasons too, but that is probably in the top 5 reasons I am so excited!

So, for those of you who I have your cell numbers and you're on "the list" to get a text, expect one sooner than later Thursday!

The Final Countdown

This 1980's rock song pretty much sums it up at this point. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Transverse Lie Position: A Visual

I find that many people mistake a "transverse lie" position for a "breech" position, but they are completely different from one another. Below is a picture of both a baby in a breech position and a baby in a transverse lie position - Smyrna Baby obviously falls in the transverse lie category - something that is considered rare.

I am very curious which body part they will identify first and be able to pull out of a small 6-inch (or so) incision next Thursday. My assumption is they will pull a foot out first, but I could be completely wrong.

Right now, the head is on my left side, the butt is on the right and the feet are right around the birth canal opening. My impression is that he/she is face down, as though he/she is looking towards the opening, but either can't or does not want to head down that way (no pun intended)!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

38 Weeks (and 3 Days)

The final countdown is officially ON. 5 Days and counting I can only imagine what I will be feeling like this time Thursday - especially with in regards to hunger. I have basically been eating my way through our kitchen (thankfully it's mainly healthy food), so I have a feeling Thursday is going to be a difficult day. Oddly enough, I am more concerned about my eating schedule than I am about going through a major surgery and delivering a baby! Figures.

Here is your 38 week update as well as a good belly shot!

Your baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she's over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you'll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

Wondering what color your baby's eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If she's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If she's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she's 9 months old. That's because a child's irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she's born, but they usually won't get "lighter" or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Maternity Leave....AHHHHHHHHHHHH.....

I kicked off my official maternity leave today, and what a great feeling it has been. I am sitting here, in our kitchen, with the back door open, enjoying an incredibly beautiful Fall day. Our Golden Retriever has been sleeping right by the back deck all afternoon, soaking in the warm rays.

I have had one of the nicest days I've had in a long time - walked the dog in the morning (36 degree temps- brrrrrr), cleaned up the house, went through the mail, re-arranged some furniture (light furniture - don't worry) in a guest room, caught up on Grey's Anatomy, had lunch with my husband, paid some bills, got dinner in the slow cooker, had a manicure, bought some fruit and am now waiting on a friend to come by and see the nursery. The perfect, relaxing, quiet day - just how I wanted to kick off this new "era", as Smyrna Dad has said numerous times in the past 24 hours.

Listening to the birds chirp and dogs barking in the distance makes me realize how much I need to enjoy this "quiet", it's all about to come to an end in exatly 6 days!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

8 Days and Counting!

It's official - this baby is still transverse! His/her head is still right around my upper right side, right near my ribs, while the bum is on my left side with a foot (or two) dangling down below. As it stands right this minute, given any unforseen circumstances (i.e. my water doesn't break between now and next Thursday), I will be delivering this baby on November 12, 2009 at 5:15 p.m.!

Today was the first day that I have truly gotten excited. I'm talking beaming, bouncing off the walls, grinning ear-to-ear excitement! To know that in less than 8 days, we are going to finally be able to see, meet, hold, kiss and love our Smyrna Baby is just incredible.

I could care less at this point if I am having a c-section - this baby obviously didn't want to go head down for a long time, and once he/she did, it wasn't a favorable position, so back up he/she went. That's fine. As long as Smyrna Baby is safe, not in any danger or in any sort of distress, I am fine with whatever the doctor's feel is best to bring him/her into this world.

Less than 8 days. Wow. I swear, wasn't it just yesterday that I took a pregnancy test?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dancing, swimming, punching, kicking

I honestly thought this baby was going to dance its way out of my belly earlier this evening. For two solid hours, this baby squirmed, kicked, danced, swam, punched and did who knows what else in utero. I've never seen or felt anything like it, and neither had Smyrna Dad. I tried capturing some of the movements on video, which is below; however the lighting isn't the best. Hopefully you can make out all of the movements (and the bouncing up and down is not me breathing either!).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Timing Movements

I've often wondered if there will be any sort of pattern as to when Smyrna Baby is moving in utero versus when he/she is out here living/breathing in the real world. For the next couple of days, I am going to attempt to track Smyrna Baby's movements, and will later refer back to these notes to see if there was, in fact, any sort of pattern.

I started off making notes first thing this morning, but once lunchtime came and went, I forgot to write anything down (this is where I get to blame pregnancy brain). Here is what I noticed:

4:30 a.m. - Little movement; squirming around. Didn't last maybe more than 10 or so minutes.

7:30 a.m. - Lots of movement while I was sitting on the floor putting on my makeup. You could watch my shirt bounce/move all over the place.

10:30 a.m. - Slight movement uppper right side, and gradually turned into swimming-like movements (where you could see my shirt moving from across the room).

12:00 Noon - LOTS of movement all over - up/down/left/right. Everywhere. Smyrna Baby must've been hungry!

1:30 - Smyrna Baby was crazy active, and it almost felt as though his/her feet were on my bladder. The head (??) was moving all around in the upper right side, causing me to periodically jump/flinch.

Tomorrow I will try to track movements throughout the entire day just to get an overall picture, but this alone was very interesting to me!

A friend of mine made a comment today how you could almost tell the baby was still transverse just by looking at me. I am inclined to think the same thing, but will have to wait until Wednesday morning to find out for sure!