Monday, February 21, 2011

1 Year Old

My Darling Girl,

Today you are one whole year old. I can't believe how the time has flown by or how much you have changed and grown over this last year.

It seems like no time at all has passed since I first found out that you were going to come and live with us.

Here, your mama is 6 weeks pregnant and hasn't started having Morning Sickness yet!!

This picture was taken the night before you were born. Mama was already in labor, but didn't know it!

This is your first picture on the day you were born. Mama had a great labor and you were never in distress. However, you had started trying to breathe a bit too early and had some gunk in your lungs. Here you are resting after working really hard to get yourself born. Your Mama is tired, but feels like a superhero for giving birth to you with no drugs and no screaming and very little pain. I am posting the story of your birth below.

This is about a week after you were born, when you were finally ready for me to hold you and nurse you and love you!

This is the first time your daddy got to hold you and I am told he flew out of the office that day not even stopping to say hello to anyone he passed. He was so anxious to get to you and hold you.

This is your first picture after we got you home from the hospital. I remember we brought you up in your car seat and sat you down in the living room floor. Then your daddy and I looked at each other and said, "Now What?" We had no idea what to do or what you needed. But, we figured it out pretty fast :)

Your cousin's were so happy to meet you. J, has always loved you. He actually told me that there was a baby in my belly before I even knew that you were there. He wants to hug and kiss you all the time! W, thinks that you are loud and you get into his stuff, but he is never really mad at you, he loves you and always wants to make sure that you are happy.

This is your first experience with the Easter Bunny and while you didn't cry, I don't think that you cared for him much!

I spent every moment I could with you and you and I bonded deeply. I feel like I know what you are thinking most of the time. I love you so much. I know that you love me, but as you can see from the photo above, it really is all about the Binky's!!

This is the first time I put you in your highchair and you really liked being up there high and able to watch what I was doing!

This is your baptism. You slept through the whole thing and never made a peep. There was another little girl being baptized with you, and she was loud and kept running off. I was so proud of you for being so good!

You discovered that you loved being close to daddy and you two would curl up on the couch and watch the news. You have always loved, and still do, being close to your daddy!

June 12 was a big day for you! It was the first time you rolled over from your back to your stomach. You used another baby for leverage at first, but later the same day you learned to raise your legs in the air, then bring them down on your side and use the momentum to roll yourself over onto your stomach.

June was also when your Mama took you to the pool and you became a water baby. You loved being in the cool water and splashing around. I am looking so forward to this coming summer when you will start really learning how to swim!!

In July we did more swimming and you loved every moment of it

Here you are sitting up and don't need me to hold you up or keep you from falling over. I knew when I took this picture that my baby was already growing up too fast!

In August we let you try something other than Binky's. Watermelon! While I believe that you loved squishing it through your fingers and throwing it off the tray, the parts that got into your mouth were very quickly followed by a shudder and them coming right back out again.

You are actually doing your military crawl in this picture. I had left you on your back all rolled up like a snug bug in a rug while I ran for a diaper and when I got back, this is how I found you! You looked up and smiled at me, so I had to run for the camera and you actually repeated the smile for the camera!

Here you are in what was you favorite thing. You still don't mind the johnny jump-up, but you really would rather not be tethered to anything! You would bounce up and down in this and giggle and scream with joy!

You were loved by all you came across! This is your Godmother and she adores you and tells me that she loves taking your pictures. You see, your Godmother is an extremely talented photography and your Mama wishes she had talent like that! You loved her right away and every time we see her, you go right to her arms!

In September, Your other Grandmother came for a visit and the two of you bonded very quickly. I know that she misses you very much and I have a feeling that she will be back for another visit very soon!

In October, your aunt and I took you and your cousin to have your pictures taken in many matching outfits. We had fun and you decided that you were supposed to be the center of attention and kept looking around confused when they were taking Smug-Niece's picture alone!

Also in October we took you to your first pumpkin patch and let you pet the animals in the petting zoo. You didn't care much for them or anything else at the pumpkin patch. You mostly wanted some Binky's and to take a nap!

This is one of the first pictures that your Mama took with her new camera. This is Thanksgiving and you are looking at your daddy with so much love!!

Here we have been working on setting up the Christmas tree. You didn't mess with it too much. You really like cords and cables though, so the plugs were constantly in jeopardy!

In this picture you are trying to reach something on the table, but it is just out of your reach. I was amazed by how tall you have gotten and how fast you are learning. I can watch your little mind reason things out and find the best way to go about getting to what you want. It blows my mind to watch!
You didn't know what to make of Christmas morning. I think that we freaked you out a bit with all our excitement, but you soon dug into playing with your toys and the toy above has become one of your favorites!

You have a deep love for all things Daddy. You guys roll around on the floor and play and giggle and chase each other around the room. No one is better than Mama until Daddy gets home and then your Mama becomes chopped liver!!

I put this block on top of your head and you tried really hard to hold still and not let it fall off. Once it did, you laughed and laughed!

I love all that you are and all that you will become. You are my whole world and my whole life. Everything I do now is for your benefit and well being.

This last month you have started walking. On Friday, you finally gathered your confidence and started letting go of me, daddy or any other stable surface and taking some jerky, halting steps on your own without freaking out and falling over. You still did some falling over, but you got right back up and took off again.

You love to be chased down the hall way or through the kitchen. You giggle and trip over yourself trying to get away from daddy or I. You are full of fun and life and love.

You are also really starting to try to say the words and you truly understand the words that are being said to you. You know that I am Mama, even if you won't call me that. You know what ice is and that you love eating it! You know that Binky's are still number one and will say "ba ba ba" and pull on my shirt when you are hungry.

You like to play and will initiate a game of Peek-a-Boo with Smug-Sister or Smug-Grandma. You have started to understand and try to toss the ball back and forth with your cousin, W. You love to reach over and pull your cousin, M, into an embrace all the while, trying to yank her hair or pull the bow out of her long locks!

You are starting to realize that sometimes when you cry, things change to something you like better. So, you are testing Mama and Daddy. You cry when Mama leaves the room and she comes right back, you don't yet understand that Mama was just putting away some socks and was coming right back anyway! So, you cry because you don't want to get into your car seat, but that doesn't result in not having to go into the car seat, so you are confused! Smug-Grandma says that you are in an awkward stage, of not yet being able to understand what is happening around you, but wanting to gain some control nonetheless!

My sweet baby girl! You are my sunshine! My only sunshine! You make me happy when sky's are gray! You'll never know dear, how much I love you!!

Happy Birthday My Love!

How Smug-Baby entered this world!

I awoke Sunday morning at 2:34am with a full bladder and noticed some light red spotting on the tissue. I woke up again at 4:17 with some cramping that was different then the braxton-hicks I had been experiencing thus far in my pregnancy. I took a hot shower and let the water pound on my low back, when I got out of the shower I had to pee again and this time there was a small gush of fluid that felt different, but not huge, so I was unsure if this was my water breaking, but the tissue had a lot of bloody discharge, so I was pretty sure that I was finally in labor.

I tried to go back to bed, and sleep in between contractions, but by 5:30am I knew that I was in labor for sure and woke my husband. He called Wanda, our doula who told us that it sounded like I was still in really early labor and I should try to sleep some and if I was not able to sleep I should change positions every 30 minutes and be sure to eat a little something and keep drinking water to stay hydrated. I kept counting, 1, 2, 3, 4 up into the surge, 1, 2, 3, 4, deep into the tightening, 1, 2, 3, 4, over the hump of the tight pressure, 1, 2, 3, 4, down into the end of the surge.

I moved from the bed to sitting backward on the toilet with a pillow on the tank to rest my head. I had heard that this position was helpful in letting gravity move the baby down, 1, 2, 3, 4. Then I took another hot shower and then moved back to the bed 1, 2, 3, 4. It was about 9:30am when I took to the shower again and told my husband to call Wanda again and see what she thought about going on to the hospital even though it was probably still way early, but I was having a better time in the shower, but kept running out of hot water. I was thinking that it would be better to use up the hospital's hot water rather than mine! The time was flying by. I couldn't believe that it was already almost 10am! I thought that what with labor being painful and all, the time would drag. This was not the case, and I was uncomfortable and totally knew that I was in labor, but my Hypnobirthing classes had really kicked in and I was concentrating and counting and totally handling everything fine.

Wanda said that she would stop by on her way to church and check me for dilatation. She arrived about 10:00 and checked me, I was already at 6 centimeters! I remember commenting that if this was as bad as it was going to get, I could totally do this! Wanda had mentioned in our classes that contractions/surges are the same intensity at 10 centimeters as they are at 5. I worked to get dressed, 1, 2, 3, 4, while Smug-Hub packed the car and we left for the hospital. Every change of position, every bump in the road caused a new surge of pressure, I kept counting and riding each wave, knowing that each contraction, each surge that I counted through was one less that I needed to ride.

We arrived and were taken into the labor and delivery triage area where they hooked me up to a fetal monitor to check on the baby's heart rate, 1, 2, 3, 4 and then my doctor arrived and checked me. I was at 8 centimeters, it was almost 11:30am. There was a woman screaming in the next cubicle. She was in great distress and begging them to "Cut this thing out of me" Wanda told me to keep counting and not pay any attention to her, it was only at that point that I tuned in enough to hear her, I was so focused on my own work that I wouldn't have even heard her if Wanda hadn't mentioned it. They then took me to a labor and delivery room and I walked right into the shower, 1, 2, 3, 4 and stayed there for the next two hours leaving only long enough for the intermittent fetal heart rate checks.
Then, they noticed that there was some meconium in my fluid discharge and I needed to be on the monitor, they checked me again and I was at a bit more than 9 centimeters with a little lip keeping me from reaching 10. I was able to move around in the bed and around the room a bit, but had to stay on the monitor. The pediatrician came to talk to us, telling us that the meconium may have caused the baby some problems and she would be there to take the baby should she not cry and need some assistance. Then the nurse said that if I wanted to start pushing some she could physically hold the little lip out of the way and see if it allowed me to push the baby down past it.

It was 2:45pm when I started pushing. I felt a little silly almost pushing, like I didn't really know what I was doing, but Wanda and the nurse would let me know if I was doing a good push or a less than effective push and I learned quickly what they were looking for and got down to business. I remember that I kept asking how many more pushes I needed to get the job done. They laughed and said "a lot" I needed to count, the counting had helped me handle the surges, and I wanted to count pushes too, but they didn't understand and I couldn't focus on them enough to explain. I held onto the rails, counting. I tried the squat bar and counted. I laid on my back and then my side and counted and pushed.

Then my doctor was there and massaging me and my husband was telling me he could see the head and Wanda was telling me only a few more pushes, push her over the pelvic bone, 1, 2, 3, 4. Push her to the sky, push her into your arms, 1, 2, 3, 4. Suddenly, I hear, "Stop, don't push" I remember saying "What do you mean stop?!?!?" I could hear everyone jump into action, carts rolled into place, gowns were donned and I could hear someone on the phone say "Birth response" I knew then that my daughter would be on this side of my body soon. I knew that being pregnant was almost over, that labor was almost over.

It felt like forever, but it was probably only about 90 seconds until I was told to push again. Then it felt like there were people all around me, lots of hands holding my feet, my legs, on my baby's head. Suddenly, someones fingernail felt like it was digging into my delicate skin and I jerked my hand, coming down to move the offending person's nail from me. Everyone pulled my hand away telling me that no one's fingernail was digging into me, I know now that this was a tearing as my baby's head and one arm was delivered. At the time, I knew that the only way to get this person to move their fingernail that I knew was digging into me was to get the rest of the baby delivered.

I heard the doctor say that the cord was around her neck and he needed to cut it, I nodded and heard my husband also give consent, the cord was cut and suddenly I looked up to see my daughter in his arms, all red, purple with some blood and goo and slippery. She did not respond, did not cry, so the NICU people stepped in to take her and I called to Smug-Hub to stay with her.

He moved to her side while the doctor told me of the tear that he needed to stitch and I kept listening for crying, for something. I heard and saw people working and Smug-Hub looking pale. They told me that she was doing better and brought her over so I could lay eyes on her for the first time. Then they whisked her away and I remember calling to Smug-Hub to stay with her, to talk to her and to keep her safe.

The doctor spent a long time on the stitches and I remember joking with him that he was embroidering a sampler down there! Once he was finished, I asked Wanda to find my mom and sister. I needed hugs since I was without my husband and baby. They came in and the doctor told me that I needed to eat and drink something. My sister left to find some juice and crackers or something for me and mom stayed with me. Wanda left as the birth was over.

I felt like I was bleeding a lot and the nurse changed the pad beneath me and left, the doctor came back in and I told him that I felt like I was still bleeding too much. He took a look and then suddenly people came out of the walls, I was given an IV dose of Pitocin and a shot to help clotting, the doctor was digging within me to remove the leftover pieces of placenta that were causing the hemorrhage. This hurt horribly and I remember crying out and begging him to stop. He said "Sweetheart, the pain will not kill you, but this bleeding will, I can't stop" I remember grabbing the handles on the bed and burying my face into the side rails of the bed, and trying to endure the pain.

Throughout my whole labor and delivery I was not in horrible pain, I was uncomfortable, but not screaming or in major pain. Besides that "fingernail" issue, I handled labor and delivery without issue, this was different, this was horrible pain and I could feel my new stitches tearing out. Finally, everything calmed down and he got down to repairing the stitches and I was cleaned up again.

Smug-Hub and the NICU doctor came in and Smug-Hub was filled in on my recent adventures, but at the time he failed to fully understand how serious it was. The doctor told me that Smug-Baby had a lot of acid in her blood and some issues with the meconium in her lungs, that they were going to put in a breathing tube and give her a "baking soda" type solution to help get rid of the acid in her blood. I was feeling woozy and all this is a little hazy, but I did comprehend that while Smug-Baby was in serious condition she was not critical, she would live, she would be fine with no long term effects.
The next two weeks were filled with pumping and sitting at her bedside. The trauma of the after birth was fresh, but the labor and delivery itself was pretty perfect. It was a few days before Smug-Baby was able to be held and a few more before she could nurse and then a few more before she was allowed to come home. She came home on March 7th and we spent the next 48 hours in bed, bonding and learning to nurse.

1 comment:

  1. This was truly a gorgeous letter to the baby. Happy birthday to her again.

    And omg the whole placenta being in pieces and the pain? Major props to you.