Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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All decked out

We’re getting out the Christmas decorations here this weekend, and the one above is our favorite. Allie is decked out tonight in her Christmas sleeper that she got from Grandma and Grandpa Durso. Isn’t she cute?

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A day in the life

Here’s what goes on in a typical day for Allie:

She sleeps a lot. But waking up can be a long and hard process.

She eats a lot too. Allie gets to eat whenever she wants and is usually pretty animated during a feeding, when she’s not sleeping.

And the rest of the time she gets to just hang out and look cute. Its a tough life, but someone has to live it.

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Giving thanks

I’ve said this many times, but on Thanksgiving its worth saying again. This year would have been totally awful if it weren’t for Allie! I am so thankful for Allie and for our whole family.

Today we spent the holiday with my family in Rockton. It was Allie’s first road trip and went just fine. Right now she sleeps whenever we put her in the car, so it was really pretty easy.

What’s not so easy, however, is leaving the house on time! We were going to leave after her feeding, which we started late anyway because we started her bath late. And then once we were done feeding it still took a few extra minutes to get her in the car seat and out to the car. But we’ve got the first road trip down and they can only get easier, right?

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I am happy to report that it seems breastfeeding is finally working out. Allie and I both seem to be getting the hang of it! The only problem we tend to have is feeding when she’s sleepy.

The proof of this statement is in Allie’s weight. Last Tuesday she weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces and today she weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces. The average weight gain is an ounce a day and she’s actually put on a bit more than that.

Of course plenty can still go wrong, as it has anytime I’ve thought it was going well in the last three weeks, but the fact is Allie is getting the nourishment she needs. So despite the difficulty, we’re achieving the goal. I am thrilled!

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Allie’s birth story

Finally! Three weeks later, I’m posting Allie’s birth story. Its still pretty long, but believe it or not, it has been cut down quite a bit…

Around 6 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, I noticed my braxton-hicks contractions were getting more frequent, though still irregular. They would be semi-regular for an hour or so and then stop. I think the only reason I noticed was because I had been up for an hour or so before this because I couldn’t sleep. My back also got extremely sore, worse than it had been in awhile.

This continued throughout the day until the contractions started getting a little painful around 5 p.m. Around 8 p.m. Doug and I decided to call the clinic because the contractions seemed regular enough. When the doctor on call called me back she asked if I could talk through the contractions. I thought I couldn’t, but I probably could have. But since I said I couldn’t she said to come on in to the hospital. Had I said yes, I probably would have stayed home awhile longer.

We got to the hospital around 9:30 where I was checked and only dilated to 2 cm and still about 70 percent effaced. So they sent us home an hour later with a sleeping pill. I cried.

The whole time I was asleep, I was mad that the sleeping pill didn’t seem to be working, but it was. However, I could feel the contractions in my sleep.

Around 2 a.m., I got up and went to the bathroom and noticed I had started losing my mucous plug. The contractions were getting more painful and I couldn’t sleep anymore, I had only slept three hours. We decided to stay home a bit longer so Doug could sleep. I went downstairs and watched some TV and tried to time the contractions. We decided to go back to the hospital around 5 and left the house at 6.

We stopped at McDonalds on the way and got some breakfast. I remembered someone had said you better eat before you go to the hospital and I was so glad I did. I had a McGriddle at about 6:15 and didn’t eat another bite other than ice chips until about 10 p.m. Friday. And the turkey sandwich I had at 10 p.m. Friday was probably the best turkey sandwich ever!

We got to the hospital around 6:30 and by 8 I had progressed enough that they decided to admit me. I had gotten to 4 cm dilated and fully effaced with longer and more frequent contractions.

I had been planning to labor as long as I could without the epidural because I liked the idea of being able to walk around. But before we even got to the hospital I found I didn’t like walking around at all.

Once we got to my room around 10 a.m., I ended up sitting in the whirlpool tub for an hour until the contractions were more intense and I was ready for the pain relief. After I was out of the tub and dressed, I was checked and had progressed to 6 cm.
Soon they came in to start the epidural. The nurse hooked up my IV, and then I had to go to the bathroom, which I had been doing about every 15 minutes because of the pressure. When I came back, as I was sitting on the bed, my water broke.

Getting the epidural in was no picnic. Apparently I don’t have much space in between my vertebrae. That combined with the contractions that made me keep tensing up when I was supposed to be relaxing made the insertion hell. The medical student tried several times to insert the epidural and then the anesthesiologist even had to try several times, missing the spine each time, and the pain was awful when they missed. They even had to take it out and move it down to a different spot before it went where it was supposed to be. All the while I had the water gushing out of me still and I was sobbing and my neck hurt from trying to bend over enough to get this in.

But once the epidural was in and they got it all started I quickly got some relief. I wasn’t upset to be numb from the waist down at this point. I still felt the tightening of the contractions, but not the pain.

I had progressed to 8 cm by about 3:30 p.m. and was told it might only be an hour and a half until it would be time to push. But the contractions died down in intensity and frequency. The said it could have been because of the epidural just the fact I had been laboring so long already as well as Allie’s position. Upon checking, Allie was “sunnyside up,” with her face to my stomach instead of my back.

To get the contractions moving again, I was started on pitocin around 4:30. They said if I didn’t progress beyond 8 cm within about two hours, then Allie probably wouldn’t be able to be delivered vaginally and we’d have to talk c-section. The pitocin really did intensify the contractions and I was starting to feel the pain again. I had a button to press for some extra epidural and I used it as often as they’d let me.

By the time I was checked around 6:45 p.m., she had turned! I had been feeling the urge to push for awhile so we decided to go for it.

As I started pushing, the doctor started seeing Allie’s heart rate dropping and then spiking. She told me later Allie’s heart rate was dropping because of a possible pinch in the umbilical cord; she thought maybe the cord could have been around Allie’s neck (it wasn’t). Allie’s heart rate was spiking likely because an infection went into my uterus after my water broke.

My doctor didn’t like the heart rate readings and started to talk to me about a c-section or using forceps to get Allie out quicker. Someone even came in and took some blood and put another bracelet on me to prepare. I was close to saying yes on the c-section, but then my doctor saw some change on the readings and said we could keep going!

Allie was born at 8:22 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, after about an hour and a half of pushing. Everyone was really impressed because they had told me it could be three hours! She weighed 8 pounds and 13 ounces and was 20 inches long, with a full head of brown hair that has since lightened.

When Allie came out she had a hard time breathing because of meconium. There were so many people in the room and about six of them were pediatricians. I had no idea at the time that they had to hook Allie up to oxygen and she had low apgar scores to start. All I remember is my doctor saying over and over again “Its normal, its normal.” I was yelling at Doug to get the camera while he was worried our baby wasn’t going to make it! I was so out of it, I didn’t even realize at first they hadn’t brought her up to my chest and I had to ask later if it was normal to have that many pediatricians in the room.

But it all ended happily. So many things were trying to go wrong, but corrected themselves just in time. It hurt like hell, even with the epidural, but it was so totally worth it. We are in love. I never comprehended the love a mother has for her child until I actually had one.

We love being parents. Doug is a great daddy and he has been so supportive, throughout pregnancy, labor and beyond. I don’t know what we’d do without him.

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Bath time

See? Allie does have a mommy! Its just that mommy is usually the one taking the pictures.

Allie had her first tub bath last night. She wasn’t too impressed. But doesn’t she look cute here in her hooded towel? Why don’t they make hooded towels for grownups?

She didn’t seem to dislike the tub bath as much as the sponge baths, since she didn’t start crying until later in the process. I think the more we do it, the more she will like it. She really didn’t seem to mind having her feet in the water, or the water being poured over her when we washed her hair. She did, however, have a lot to say about being otherwise manhandled.

Allie’s bath tub is state of the art. Its got a whirlpool and a shower attachment! The shower won’t be used until later, but the whirlpool will be used once we get batteries for it.

Hopefully now that we’ve gotten past the hump of the first bath, bath time will become more pleasant, or at least not as awkward. And we’ll take some pictures! You have to take a picture of every baby in the bath!


Something’s wrong with this picture…

Daddy got a little confused when he was getting Allie dressed after a feeding last night. He put her arm in the sleeper where the foot should go!

Allie had two awake times yesterday. She was awake for three hours in the morning, and then she was awake for about three hours in the evening too. Look how alert she is!
We’ve been having lots of tummy time whenever Allie is awake. She’s getting pretty good at lifting her head, but she gets impatient sometimes. Last night she seemed more interested in lifting her butt and crawling! Impatient overachiever… I wonder how well that will work out?