Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mass Update!

Okay - so if you haven't been over in a bit - there have been LOTS of lengthy updates - sorry about that! I have been working on the Birth Story for a while using those free 5 minutes I have every 16 hours... And along with that, I have been keeping tabs on Miss Belly's progress and what it has been like this month for us. I would LOVE to have a letter for her every month and be able to show her someday on a monthly basis how she changed in my eyes. So that when she is 16, she can rip them up and pee on them right in front of me to prove a point... Kidding of course!

Not too much going on - just trying to adjust to less sleep and more daytime TV. I swear, there was a time when I loved being lazy and watching endless hours of daytime TV, but now - I need OUT. OUT OF THE HOUSE! So every chance I get, I do whatever I can to convince Josh when he comes home from work that there are ERRANDS! ERRANDS we need to run - like NOW. Even at 4:30pm in rush hour traffic JUST to buy a playmat from Babies-R-Us. Because without it - our child will surely flunk First Grade.

The dogs are still holding up well, mostly since they are getting more treats from us. We need to somehow feel like we are at least making up for our lack of doggie love time...

I think I am going to try and wean her a little from me - I know I need to be able to go out without her - but it's hard! I am going to try and start with a hair appointment next week and leave her with a Grandma for the first time. I need to start small however because I can't even think of leaving her at all right now. Am I crazy? I just love her to pieces and I would miss her so much!! Okay, I answered my own question - yes - I am crazy! I am sure it will get easier with time. And in a couple months - I will have to leave her everyday at Daycare!

Josh's sister is 35 weeks pregnant and has just been sequestered to Bed Rest for High Blood Pressure until the baby comes or until they can't let her continue. We may end up having babies MUCH closer together than we thought! Hopefully her little Eli can hang on for another week just for safe-keeping and poor Molly can get off the couch!

Oh - Josh is working on a website for Elliette and we will start posting her Monthy Letters and new videos on that once we are up and running... So if you see Josh, make sure and remind him about it because sometimes he forgets to finish things... :)

Speaking of finishing things - Josh is SUPPOSED to put up new pictures of Little Missy, but he has been distracted by a sort of virus that has invaded our house called ROCK BAND. Thanks Brian Slater! I can't get rid of it no matter how badly I talk about or make fun of it. Someday I can't wait to tell our Daughter - Yes Honey, your Great Grandmother was unable to see your photos because your Dad played a fake drum set all the time.... SO if you see him - again remind him to do something other than fake drumming on tour with Gun's and Roses in our basement....

Elliette - Your First Month

Dearest Elliette –

It’s hard to believe that you are already 4 weeks old. One whole month of life on the outside. You have changed so much already that I can hardly wait to see what the next month brings. Hopefully more sleep and less crying. Both of which it seems you do at the most inopportune times…

I am still getting used to the fact that I am a mother, but since your father and I have managed to keep you alive so far – I think it is becoming more real. We did have a slight scare last week when your Dad was walking down the stairs with you and he slipped and you two went down a few on Dad’s butt. You bumped your head a little on the last step and after hours upon hours of us freaking out, calls to the Doctor and many checks while you were asleep – everything was fine. Now, if anyone ever asks if you were dropped on your head or something – you can say – NO! I only bumped it a little on the stairs!

Somehow – your Dad and I have created the most beautiful baby on the planet – so much beauty that my eyes well up when I think of you. I can’t believe how much a little person can change your life. Our life revolves around you now. Your Dad and I sit and wait for you to do something new – something adorable like stick out your tongue or make a noise – even your poops are sweet. At some point I guess the cute things you do will actually equate to cuteness to others and not just to your Dad and me. I guess it’s only because we love you more than anything we have ever loved before and therefore – no matter what you do – it’s perfect.

Although sometimes when you cry – it’s reeeeeallllllly hard to remember those cute moments. You are quite a challenging baby. Which should not surprise me considering who your parents are… I swear from the first day you have been more aware of everything around you than the average baby. Your beautiful eyes wide open and taking everything in. I think you are able to take in more than your little mind can handle and you cry because you don’t know how else to deal. But every once in a while it seems that your mind opens up and allows us to interact with you. We get you to look into our eyes and you try so hard to communicate with us with something other than crying. Those are the moments that make this baby thing all worth it. Your small efforts smooth over all the bad nights and make our hearts melt. Your coos sound like nothing I have ever heard before – they are magical. I can’t wait for you to find your little voice and make me laugh!

When we brought you home from the hospital, you were so tiny. At 6lbs 15 ozs., we had a hard time finding cute clothes that fit you. Even still I have to recycle the same 5 outfits over and over – but everyone keeps telling me that I should cherish the time that you are so tiny because you will grow so fast! Your Dad and I weighed you the other day and you were already 8lb 2 ozs!! So at least I know you are thriving and getting enough food from me. I now can see the chubby fingers and legs growing and it’s the cutest most edible thing in the world…

The Highlights of Month One:
- You have smiled, cooed and followed objects with your eyes.
- You can hold your head up pretty well and really like tummy time on the couch.
- Your longest sleep was 6.5 hours in a row from 9:30pm to 5:30am….
- You poop more than anything I have ever seen in my life. Like 15 times a day I swear.
- You LOVE spending time on your changing stations. Especially the one in your bedroom. There are only rare occasions that you cry and it usually involves me changing your outfit for the 3rd time in a row because NOTHING FITS!
- Your most adorable time is usually at 5:30am – but since you are so adorable, we usually indulge you because it’s physically impossible to ignore your cuteness.
- You love it when your Daddy beat-boxes while he dances with you. Your eyes become huge and you are entranced.
- So far you hate the car and the car seat. We are doing everything we can to fix this as your Dad and I like to go out and do stuff and we want you to come with!
- You also hate having your head touched – but this KILLS your dad because he wants so badly to smother your head in kisses.
- You have met all of your Aunts and Uncles, Grandmas and Grandpas, 2 of your Great-Grandparents and TONS of our good friends. Once the weather warms up – we can’t wait to take you everywhere. We actually already purchased tickets to your very first rock concert on June 21st.
- You love eating no matter how you can get it. You will drink out of basically any bottle we give you and of course the good ol’ boob will always do too… and the sounds you make when you are nursing are absolutely the sweetest….
- You LOVE sucking on our pinkies. We try every time when you are REEEAALLLLY mad to give you a pacifier and you fight us. We throw a pinky in your mouth and it’s instant silence.

Current Names:
- Belly
- Belliette
- Munchkin
- Skeen Bean (still!)
- Missy
- Missy Elliette
- Chunky Monkey
- Cheeks
- Lady
- Child (when you are fighting the Boob)
- Baby Girl
- Whinny Cooper (when you are nursing and getting full – you sound like a horse)

Overall Elliette, you are the most amazing, wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I can’t wait to grow as a family with your Dad and you and see where life takes us. You make everything worthwhile and meaningful. Someday when you are a mean 15 year old – I will look back at these letters and remind myself how it all started. How you were so fresh and new with an entire life ahead of you. I can’t wait to see how it turns out sweetie…


Birth Story

Here it is people... The Birth Story! It started on March 7th and ended on March 13th with a beautiful baby girl... Forgive me if it sounds a little like I was explaining it to my Birth Class Teacher or something - because originally I was... But then I decided it was a little too personal and involved for her and thought - why not just post it directly on the internet instead for a bunch of random people to read!? Hope you enjoy!

On March 7th - I started having my first "real" contractions - ones that actually hurt and I was totally sure that I was in labor.... They were not THAT bad - but since I had nothing to gauge them from - I had NO IDEA what I was in for... I had about 2 hours of contractions about 5 minutes apart - and then they just kind of stopped... I still had a crampy feeling, but no more contractions. So I just kinda went about my night and waited to see what would happen next. Then on Saturday - I went to breakfast and had a HUGE painful contraction and then many smaller ones. I kept track for about 7 hours and they were mostly 5 minutes apart - but I was still walking and talking through them. I called the babyline and they were sure I was in labor - so I called my Mom who lives 4 hours away and she started her trip up here. Once she got here I called the babyline again and asked them if I could take some Tylenol because I had a headache, and they were a little concerned that I may have had a blood pressure increase so she told me to come in.

So at this point - I was TOTALLY excited and freaked out because I thought I was having a baby! We packed up the car with everything and drove to the hospital. They put me in one of those triage rooms and started to monitor me. The contractions were super consistent - every 5 minutes - but not strong enough. They checked my cervix - and I was only 2 cm dilated. I was 2 cm at my last doc appointment on Wednesday too - so not too much was happening. They told me to go walk around a bit and they would check me again in an hour to see if my cervix changed. And then when they checked me again - NOTHING. So they sent me home with some visterol to sleep and see if anything happens overnight. Of course nothing happened overnight - aside from an AWESOME night of sleep - THANKS VISTEROL!

On Sunday - pretty much just lame contractions - like one every hour or so and nothing painful. My Mom was determined to get this baby out of me while she was here – so we walked around the Mall of America for a few hours. When that didn’t work – she insisted I try whatever we could so based on a few people’s experiences we tried some Raspberry Pie, Raspberry Tea and that night we went and ate spicy Mexican food. No Change…

Same thing on Monday and Tuesday. My Mom couldn't wait around anymore for this baby to come so she went home in the morning on Tuesday and then that night - RIGHT on time - I started to feel some "stuff". My poor Mom! I waited it out - had some painful contractions - more sharp than any of the others and went to bed. I was awakened at like 7 am with some HORRIBLE pains that I had never felt before. I went to the bathroom and I had some pink tinged discharge - and got a little excited! But with all my false labor stuff happening - I didn't want to get my hopes up. I waited a bit and they got pretty intense at times. I got in the bathtub and worked through about an hour and half of pretty painful contractions. I checked again and had more pink tinged discharge. It happened to be the day I had my weekly doc appointment - so I called the office and asked if I could come in a little earlier since I thought I might be in labor - but I didn't want to cancel in case I wasn't. So they had me come in a few hours early and my midwife checked me - I was ALMOST 3 cm dilated! So there was at least a little progress since Saturday but still I thought these were pretty intense contractions and I would have been further along.

My Midwife then stripped my membranes and said that initially my contractions would intensify a bit due to that - but I should go home, relax as much as possible and go in to the hospital when I couldn't take it anymore. She was sure that I was having a baby by the end of that day or the next day. When Josh and I left the doctor's office it was about 2 pm. Within like 15 minutes - my contractions were to a point where they hurt so bad that I was moaning and making some insane noises and movements just to get through them. Rituals! They started to come about every 3 minutes and then quickly turned into every 1 -2 minutes. We got home and within 15 minutes - I was DYING. I couldn't take it anymore without being in a safe place. I just wanted to be sure I was where I needed to be because I couldn't imagine waiting any longer and trying to drive to the hospital. So we packed up - and headed out. I called my mom - and she was out the door in minutes - AGAIN.

We arrived at about 3:00pm at the Hospital. They put me up in the Triage room and checked my cervix - and I was only about 3+ cm.... I was totally disappointed because these were some SERIOUS contractions I was having and nothing had really changed since my doc appointment! They admitted me to the hospital anyway because I was having such painful contractions that were 1 - 2 minutes apart. I tried my best to make it as far as I could. I labored until 6:30pm standing, rocking, moaning, soaking in the bathtub and then I said I couldn't take it anymore. I was in the most pain I have ever been in and I needed a break. They checked my cervix and in those 3 1/2 hours of insane labor - I had only dilated to a 4. Everyone was shocked.

Since I had officially reached the "active" labor stage - they gave me an epidural. Wow. Epidurals are awesome! Within like 15 minutes I was able to see past the next contraction and was actually aware of what was going on. Once I could reflect - I was SHOCKED at how long I had been in the hospital. Anyone who is able to have a baby with NO PAIN medication is insanely tough - I am NOT one of those people!

They had me labor with NO PAIN for another 2 hours and then they checked me again. I had not dilated at all. So - the Midwife decided to break my waters since I had not progressed in the many hours that I had been having contractions to see if that would get dilation to kick in. After another 2 hours they checked me again and I was STILL at 4. No change. At that point - they decided to try a little pitocin and told me to rest. Josh and my Mom stepped out to give me some quiet time to try and sleep.

After about 20 minutes, the midwife stopped in and was a little concerned about the baby's heart rate and how she wasn't responding well to the pitocin. About 5 minutes later - a group of 5 or so doctor's came rushing in my room and flipped all the lights on. They told me that they wanted to do a C-Section. I was so scared at the whole turn of events and Josh and my Mom were out walking around and had no idea what was going on. Finally they came back in and we had to make the call to have the C-Section now - or wait and see if anything changed and do a C-Section later - only if we waited - we would be in a situation where we had no time and everything would be rushed. We decided to go ahead with the C-Section now in order to have everything go smoothly. No rushing, everything was calm and I was awake for the whole thing.

When they were wheeling me in the operating room - I was more scared than I have ever been in my whole life. Being awake while someone cuts you open is NOT something I would ever want to go through, but I could not miss the event about to take place. Josh was able to be right next to my head and he held my hand. We waited impatiently while they started the procedure and the next thing you know - they are telling us to get ready to meet our baby! We couldn't even imagine what it was going to sound like to hear our baby cry for the first time. And then at 1:35 am - ON HER DUE DATE - all of a sudden we heard it and couldn't believe it was real! She was here and actually crying! They then brought her around the curtain so we could see her and it was all so very surreal. One second I am laying on a table with a curtain shutting me off from the rest of my body and the next - my baby is out of my belly and CRYING!

Josh went to meet her and take photos. I could hear him laughing and crying from across the room and it made me feel so happy. Then he brought her over to me and couldn't even express the emotions I was having. I wanted to cry out but I couldn't because I was numb from the chest down... She was so beautiful and perfect. I wanted so badly to be transported to a place where I wasn't strapped to a table so I could hold her and smell her and just take all of her in.

Josh was able to introduce her to her Grandmas and spend some time with her. I had to stay and get put back together. It seemed like it took forever but it really only took 45 minutes. They brought me to the recovery room and brought in Elliette - they put her to my breast and she immediately began to suckle. It was crazy!

This was absolutely one of the most insane, awesome, life-changing events that I have ever experienced. One that I would not trade for anything. And although my actual birth experience was not at all like I had thought it would be, I think it all happened the way it did for a reason. When they were pulling her out - they found that she was face up - which could have lead to a very long intense pushing phase. Considering I would have been in labor for so many hours already - who knows what could have ended up happening. I also have a baby who is absolutely perfect with no health problems due to the labor. And let's be honest - NOT pushing a 7 lb baby out of my lady parts, makes for a pleasant recovery! I have been able to bounce back from the C-Section very well and had minimal pain. I kind of think that having a vaginal delivery would have been harder on my body in the end.

Being a Mom is completely amazing. I can't believe I waited this long. I love breastfeeding and bonding with her on such a primitive level. Being able to provide life to your child is an overwhelming responsibility that I cherish.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Until the Birth Story....

I will give you a little something - Josh and I have made a couple of new videos that you should watch!

The first one was right before she was born when I didn't think she was ever coming out:

Still no baby - March 6, 2008 from josh thacker on Vimeo.

And this is one that we made recently - SO TINY!

Elliette's First Bath from josh thacker on Vimeo.

We are taking even more footage of her for new ones - so check back to Josh's Vimeo site often!
Vimeo Site

Also - Take a look at flickr to see any new photos - Josh's Flickr Page

Happy Wednesday!