Friday, November 28, 2008

Willow's Arrival

For those of you who haven't heard through the grapevine and are thinking I've had the longest pregnancy EVER......Willow has most definitely arrived!!! She was born Nov. 18th at 1:07am, weighing in at 7 lbs 13oz, 19 1/2 inches long and a full head of black hair. My Dr's first words were "Oh my, look at those cheeks!", followed by "wow, look at those big feet!"

She is absolutely perfect and precious, big cheeks and feet included. Labor and delivery were not at all what I was anticipating or had prepared for; I guess that's why they always say the only birth plan to have is "plan to have your plans changed". I began having consistent contractions around 2am monday morning, significantly stronger than the warm-up ones I'd been feeling for the previous 3 weeks. I told Justin to be ready, I think this may be it. At this point, being more than a week past my due date, it was difficult to actually believe that it REALLY could be happening. So we made it through the night with no hospital runs and I set about the day doing a final clean of the house. I had a Dr's appointment at 2pm and was feeling certain I'd be in L&D before then. No such luck! We went to the appointment, had my routine fetal non-stress test and I was waiting for my Dr. when the nurse popped in and said she'd had an emergency and couldn't see me! I had been having contractions about every 6-8 minutes while in the office and they were getting much stronger, so they sent me to L&D to get checked and put me on the monitor. Once there I was told "you're still only 1cm dilated!!!"..... no change for 3 weeks! Since I was obviously in the early stages of labor and had been for about 18 hours, we decided it was time to get things going. They started me on Pitocin to hopefully make my contractions more effective and at 7:30pm the Dr. came in and broke my water. I essentially went from early labor instantly to transition, with contractions every 1 minute, coupled with violent shaking, tremors and terrible nausea. Before she left, my doc had guessed I'd deliver sometime around 6 or 7 am, since I was having such a slow time progressing. With that in mind, I decided I couldn't manage the pain and was afraid I'd be energy depleted from the tremors and asked for something for pain. The nurse new I must be progressing much faster than they anticipated and we went straight for an epidural..... this was around 9:30 pm. I hadn't received any relief from the epidural 30 minutes later and when my nurse checked me again I was about 6cm dilated. She turned off the Pitocin and called the anesthesiologist to come give me a bolus, thinking my labor was essentially out-running the epidural effect. The bolus did the trick and I was able to rest for a few hours. The nurse said she re-check me around 12 am. At about 11:45 I told Justin he'd better go flag her down, I was starting to feel pressure and like I needed to push. Sure enough, she came in and said I could start to "practice push" and she'd call the Doctor. She deemed me a "great pusher" and decided we'd better not be too aggressive before the Doctor arrived. Once she got there, it was about 20 minutes later and our sweet Willow was here! It was the most surreal, out of body experience to lay there with her on my chest and realize she was the little thing I'd been feeling inside for the past 9 months. It was so amazing to finally meet someone face to face who I had already been experiencing so intimately.
My Mom arrived wednesday and was able to be there when we were released to go home, which was such a huge help. We were able to spend a sweet gift of time together for several days before other family members arrived to celebrate Thanksgiving.
The past week has been a wonderful whirlwind with a new baby and having my family here; the only thing that could make it better would be having my brother and sister-in-law here to complete the family circle. 
I am beyond thankful and have such a full-heart with the realization that God has blessed me with a healthy, precious baby, an amazingly supportive, sacrificial, generous family and an encouraging, loving, understanding husband. The timing of Thanksgiving couldn't have been more perfectly appropriate!

Stay tuned as Willow's Wonderland journey begins to unfold.... and I post a ridiculous amount of pictures! 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Baby Stephanie

I thought I'd share my newborn picture since I previously posted Justin's. Mom actually saved and gave me that outfit; I plan on putting Willow in it for a photo, then framing the dress with our baby pictures side by side. That would be pretty sweet, I think ;-)

So, I thought Sunday might have been "the day" or at least the day before "the day", but alas, it's passed and no baby. I was having pretty frequent contractions that were getting increasingly stronger (not painful, just very noticeable). I went for several walks, which brought them on even more, and snuck in few naps between bursts of cleaning and organizing everything. It was funny how, even though we've know the day is inevitably getting closer and closer and most definitely going to happen, having the feeling that this may be it or at least we're getting REALLY close, kind of sent us both into high speed mode. I don't think Justin's ever written a paper or studied so quickly :-) My dear friend Abby is betting on Election Day as the big day, and I'd so hate to disappoint maybe, just maybe I can coax Willow into coming tomorrow. 

I think I'd better try to come up with some things to get me out of the house, or else I'll go stir crazy just waiting.  I figure a sure fire way to get things started is to go to a large, crowded store. Surely my water will break there, in front of everyone, in the middle of the clearance aisle or tableware section. IKEA anyone??

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This may have been the highlight of my pregnancy.....I mean, when else can you proudly bare a huge round tummy painted orange??? It was hilarious to watch little kids faces as they walked up to us to "trick-or-treat" (we sat at the bottom of our stairs in lawn chairs with our bowl of candy). One little girl just had to touch my jack's nose which was painted over my belly button. She looked up wide eyed and proclaimed "OH, it's your button!" She was a precious little princess herself. I'd have to say my overall favorite was a teeny tinker-bell.....who knew tinker-bell was really a brown little hispanic?
Hope you all had a fun fall day to wrap up October. Happy November....this is the big month!