Monday, February 27, 2012

We Now Work at a Snail’s Pace

We’re so happy to have Samantha in our lives but it has definitely slowed down our work on the house. On Saturday we were able to accomplish a couple things while she was napping – but the nap didn’t last nearly long enough!

We really need to finish up our bathroom projects. Chris worked on reconfiguring the shower shelf in the master bathroom. We decided that we wanted a large shelf for things like shampoo and then a smaller shelf for razors, etc. It’ll be more work when we tile but it’ll be worth it.

There are a couple things that have been bothering us. One was the light switches in the master bedroom. Two of them were very low on the wall and turn on the outside lights. We decided to move them up and over so that the box was not behind the shower (even though we have no plans for water to get behind there!).

The second thing was the thermostat in the hallway. When the bedroom doors are closed, the thermostat keeps calling for heat and the bedrooms are sweltering. So we moved the thermostat into the master bedroom instead. Now we just have some plaster to patch!

After church on Sunday we took Samantha on her very first trip to Lowes. She was very well behaved and hopefully that will continue since we seem to spend a lot of time there!

On Sunday evening we finally put together Chris’ gas grill. I bought this for his birthday in December and it has been sitting in the box in the garage since then. After it was all assembled he made us some yummy steak (and yes he moved it outside before lighting it!).

In baby news, Samantha had her second pediatrician appointment on Friday. In ten days she had gained a full pound – apparently she’s eating well! She’s in the 75th percentile for length and the 25th percentile for weight.

We started immersing her for her baths and she likes it much better than the sponge bath.

She loves when Daddy comes home to cuddle with her.

And of course she had her weekly pictures taken…

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Our Bundle of Joy (and a tiny bit of house work)

Well this week was much more normal than the previous one. Samantha is strong and healthy and starting to get into a routine (eat, play, sleep, repeat).

The weather was wonderful on Tuesday so we took her for her first walk. She slept most of the time but I think the fresh air was good for all of us.

Chris went back to work on Wednesday so my mom came down to help out around the house. It was great to have her here – she helped do the laundry, clean the house, make food, and worked on stripping our bedroom furniture (yes, we’re still not done with it!). I think I would have been extremely overwhelmed had I been here with Samantha alone.

On Friday, the Briczinski’s visited – it was amazing to see what a size difference there was between Scott (at 5 ½ months) and Samantha! We keep telling our baby girl that she’s not allowed to grow but I don’t think she’s listening!

Chris’ parents came down for the weekend to meet their newest grandchild – Samantha is number 12! We had a nice time visiting. The weather was very nice so we were able to take her on another long walk outside on Saturday.

Samantha attended church for the first time on Sunday. The priest introduced her to the congregation at the end of mass and we received many congratulations.

We’ve learned so much about our little peanut so far – she is not too fond of tummy time (she can lift and turn her head though!)…

…she loves sleeping on her side with her hands near her face and her hat off…

…she sometimes resembles a Glow Worm…

…and she has a lot of different facial expressions (she takes after her mom!).

We got to take a family picture – none of us look that great but at least we’re all together!

I hope to take a weekly picture of Samantha to see how she is changing (idea from Young House Love) and growing (from Diane and Steve’s blog).

You got to see how my belly grew each month – now here is a shot of what was in my belly all that time (I stole this idea from my friend Amanda!).

In house news, we started our seeds for the garden. We planted a ton of tomatoes, peppers, and some other random vegetables (eggplant, broccoli, etc.). We also planted some flowers for the front porch and marigolds for around the garden. Hopefully they’ll sprout soon and we’ll get a good harvest this year.

In the next few weeks we hope to get some work done on the master bathroom. Our living room is filled with a ton (literally) of marble tile. It’ll be nice when we finish it all up and our main level will be fully functional!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Welcome to the Emotional Roller Coaster Called Parenthood…

Well we had quite the week here. This post is all baby related – this will now be the focus of our lives! The next section has a ton of labor and delivery details – feel free to skip to the cute baby pictures at the end instead!

It all started on Tuesday morning. I went in for my weekly sonogram to check the baby’s progress and found out that I had low amniotic fluid levels. They sent me straight to the hospital to get me on an IV.

I was very disappointed to be sent to the hospital before I was really in labor but they said that it was best for the baby. I had also hoped to have a labor and delivery with as little medication as possible but of course they wanted to induce and started me on Pitocin right away. While on Pitocin, they monitor my contractions and the baby’s heart rate at all times. The hospital has several portable monitors but they were all in use so I ended up stuck in bed from 9 to 7 – a very long day for someone that doesn’t sit still often!

By the end of the day, the labor and delivery unit was completely full and they were setting up beds in the hallway because there was a full moon and a low pressure system at the same time – everyone was going into labor! Fortunately I arrived early enough that I got a really nice room with a Jacuzzi tub (which I didn’t use).

Once they took me off the Pitocin for the night, I was able to walk the halls. Many comments were made by the hospital staff that I was breaking the record for each lap I did – I was just so happy to be out of bed that I was practically running the halls.

We were very surprised to see a couple from our childbirth class – Jenny and Johnny. She was much farther along in her labor so we walked with her for awhile and tried to distract her from the contractions (she gave birth to a little baby boy on Wednesday morning).

At 9 that night, they sent me back to bed and gave me something that would allow my labor to progress. I sent everyone (Chris and my parents) home to sleep because there was no reason for everyone to be uncomfortable. At 2:30 in the morning, my water broke. I was definitely not expecting that!

Later in the morning, they put me back on Pitocin but luckily this time I got a portable monitor. I walked the halls a lot that day! However, the baby was turned the wrong way so I was having very bad back labor.

They kept increasing the Pitocin level and I was getting pretty miserable. By 10 pm I was only 2 cm dilated and my back was in agony. I decided that after 36 hours of contractions and back pain, I needed some pain medication (and sleep) or I would never survive delivery. They started me on a narcotic to “take the edge off” but they failed to mention that it wouldn’t do anything for the back pain. It ended up that I was still waking in extreme pain every 3 – 5 minutes.

At this point I had had enough. I wasn’t able to sleep and was so frustrated. I made the tough decision to get an epidural. It did allow me to get some sleep which was a wonderful (and necessary) thing. I awoke after a few hours sleep and called the nurse. It turns out I had gone from 2 cm to 10 cm in a couple hours and it was time to push.

I pushed for an hour and a half before Samantha Marie was born. I still don’t know how I did it but I’m so happy I didn’t end up with a cesarean section.

The next part was really terrible. They were trying to deliver the placenta but it was coming out in pieces. So they gave me more narcotics (for the intense pain) and then decided to give me a DNC. I was losing a ton of blood and only got to hold the baby for a couple minutes before they rushed me to the operating room.

In the operating room I was barely conscious. The procedure took a lot longer than normal because the anesthesiologist decided to up the epidural instead of something more “fast acting.” The doctor performing the procedure was very angry and I ended up losing almost 2 pints of blood because of the delay.

By the time I got back from the operating room I was about as white as the sheets on the bed. My blood pressure had dropped to 66/33 by the end of the procedure so they started pumping IV fluid in me. From the time I delivered until the time they would allow me to hold Samantha again was almost 6 hours – an eternity when you’ve waited over 9 months to meet her!

Eventually they took us over to the Maternal-Child Unit and I was able to nurse and start the long 2 day recovery.

My parents were there for the majority of the labor and got back to the hospital while I was in the operating room. They were very anxious about me but very excited to meet their first grandchild.

While we were in the Maternal-Child Unit we were amazed at how many people needed access to the room at all hours of the day and night. I had just been through over 72 hours of labor and delivery trauma but not a half hour went by that someone didn’t come into the room – nurses, techs, housekeeping, obstetrician, pediatrician, room service, lactation consultants, photographer, hospital liaison, etc., etc. Let’s just say that we were extremely happy to come home on Saturday at lunchtime.

Of course being new parents, we think our daughter is just the cutest baby in the world so there are plenty of pictures!

We think Samantha definitely ended up with our feet – we both have pretty big feet with very long “monkey” toes. Samantha’s feet are also amazing because the top of her foot bends back to her shin. I’m pretty sure this will go away eventually but for right now she looks like she has frog feet.

Saturday was very busy trying to get into a routine. Tons of pictures were taken! We also gave Samantha her first sponge bath at home…despite the picture she actually really liked it! Saturday night was very trying because Samantha did not seem to want to sleep at all – only about 15 minutes at a time. We did work out a schedule so that we all got a little bit of sleep.

On Sunday, we realized that Samantha hadn’t had a wet diaper in a long time. We started getting worried that she might be dehydrated (the hospital is very, very dry). We called the pediatrician and they told us to get to the Emergency Room right away.

At the ER, they decided to take some blood, put her on an IV, and to have me nurse her and supplement with a bottle of formula. They stripped her naked and put her in a gown that was slightly softer than a burlap sack and made for a 2 year old. We weren’t happy about any of this and it was so difficult to see her get poked, prodded, and jabbed.

By midnight, they decided that they wanted to keep her overnight for observation. So we spent another night in the hospital. It was a very cold, dry, uncomfortable night.

Finally, around lunch time today they let us go home. Samantha cried so much while she was in the hospital that she’s now hoarse – her cries now sound so sad and pathetic. Hopefully this next week will be much better for all of us!

Update: Samantha is at home and is doing quite well. We didn't want to frighten anyone!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It’s a Girl!

Samantha Marie was born at 6:37 this morning. She weighs 7 lb exactly and is 20.5 inches long.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Main Bathroom Reveal!

The main bathroom is now finished! Well, not fully finished but the only things remaining are a bead of caulk, a new door, and a threshold. So without further ado, the main bathroom:

It is so nice to have a full working bathroom on the main level! And we really like the smaller vanity we chose – much better than the enormous one we picked first!

This weekend we were busy. We have needed to give the house a really good cleaning for awhile and we finally got to take care of it. We vacuumed up enough dog hair to make another Tucker! I think this is the cleanest that the house has been since the 1960s! We still have some clutter to go through but we’ve accumulated it all in the living room to go through as we have time and energy.

One small thing we did that makes a big difference was hanging curtains in our master bedroom. Our next door neighbors put on a big addition to their house last year and one thing they added was a new door and bright lights. The lights are kept on all night and shine right into our room. We have had curtains for many months but just recently bought some curtain rods so that we could hang them. Now our bedroom is so dark that we keep sleeping in – it’s actually very nice!

In baby news, today is my due date. The baby appears to be very comfy and doesn’t seem to want to arrive today. Everyone is shocked that I’m at work but I have no idea what I would do if I was just sitting at home.

I definitely look big! I still feel well (except for the heartburn and some random contractions). The baby’s head is low but I’m not dilated or effaced at all (as of last Tuesday). I’m up to about 31 pounds gained and can’t easily see my feet anymore.

Hopefully the next post will be the baby’s birth – we’ll keep our fingers crossed!