Friday, July 31, 2015

Can't Wait

I find myself thinking about those words a lot...
I can't wait until LC will fit into this cute outfit...
I can't wait until Halloween this year! What can she be...?
I can't wait until I can run with LC...
I can't wait until LC stops crying all of the time...
I can't wait until  I can embarrass LC with all these pictures...

I even remember using them months ago ---
I can't wait until I look pregnant (ha!)...
I can't wait until I can feel her kick...
I can't wait to have this baby...

But there have already been so many firsts.
She's already more alert. I couldn't wait for that.
She's trying to focus on things. Couldn't wait for that either.
And I can tell she's getting longer and gaining weight. Another thing I was anxious for.
I even heard her first giggle the other day. Granted, I didn't do anything to get this giggle- it was at 3 a.m. in her sleep, but it was still the most adorable thing ever.

With all this can't waiting going on, she's accomplishing a lot. She's teaching us tons.
And it's pretty amazing to see her grow, change, discover.

So, this week,  LC turned 4 weeks old. Four weeks of dirty diapers. Spit-up everywhere. Lost sleep. And lots of staring at the scariest, most amazing experiment ever.

At four weeks old, LC loves to ---
- Eat
- Cry
- Stroll (still)

Such a cry baby sometimes... ;)

At four weeks as a mom, Janell ---
- Has learned to function on very little sleep
- Rarely gets to dry her hair
- Is less OCD about things around the house
- Loves to take LC on strolls

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What? I'm a mom?

We're three weeks into this adventure, and boy has it been something else.
Much like the belly button saga of pregnancy, there are just so many joys of parenthood that you never really expect - things no one ever mentions.

The coos, chirps, and sighs in her sleep.
Her inane ability to dirty a diaper right after being dressed in absurdly cute pants.
Little reflex smiles that melt your heart.
Being peed on.
Her staring straight at you with adorable little eyes.
Screams that the whole neighborhood hears.

We're still trying to figure one another out, but it's going ok.
I say this as she's fast asleep. ;)

So far, LC loves to put on a show for all of her visitors. She's so sweet and cuddly - never makes a peep.

But then when they leave....

The best advice came from one of my friends. He comes from a HUGE family and has one precious little boy of his own ---

"Infants are easier to handle if you think of them as drunk adults. Drunk adults are all about basic things. They get upset and cry when they are hungry, sleepy, gassy, or bored. And sometimes they will be upset regardless of what you've done, and at that point you just gotta hold them and let them cry."

His words could not have come at a more perfect time. Sometimes the best medicine is laughter. There have been many instances where I'm at my limit, tears streaming down both of our faces. What do you need, LC?!?  But somehow she stops crying and things are alright again.

At three weeks old, little Lydia Claire Bear loves to -
- Ride in the car
- Go on a stroll
- Eat
- Be swaddled
- Cry from 9-11 P.M.
- Pee on her parents right before/after a bath

At three weeks as a mom (WHAT?!? I'm a mom?!), Janell ---
- Feels accomplished if showered before noon
- Routinely sports clothes with spit-up on them
- Is amazed at how long getting ready to go somewhere takes with a child
- Can change a dirty diaper 30 seconds flat
- Melts when LC gazes at me
- Has no recollection of what 8 hrs of sleep feels like

Also, I recently found our very first family photo on AHill's phone! How in the world some folks manage to look great after all that is beyond what I understand - I look a hot mess with my chipmunk cheeks and messy hair! But I love it. :) And I love us...all three of us!

Monday, July 6, 2015

So, I had a baby.

You always tend to remember your firsts.
First date.
First car.
First real job check.

This past week has been full of firsts.
And I don't think I'll ever forget them.

Last Tuesday, I made one of many tough first decisions. We were told that my body was being stubborn --- labor didn't appear to be anywhere close. We were given the option to wait it out for a couple days and I could be induced with a doctor I didn't know. Or we could schedule LC's birth with my favorite doctor.

Guess what I chose.

So, Tuesday night, Adam and I headed to the hospital to be induced. We had already told our close family so that they could make plans to be at the hospital the next day. I had no idea what to expect, so I had spent much of Tuesday doing weird stuff around the house (like organizing the cabinet on top of the microwave, cleaning the inside of the dishwasher - you know, normal stuff) to keep my mind busy. To say that I was nervous would be a terrible injustice to my nerves. We got into a room, met our nurse, and she told us what was going to happen. Then, THEN I got to strip down and don one of those glorious hospital gowns and climb into the bed. Cue another first - a stay in a hospital. Then the nurse started an IV for me - another first. It ended up being in my hand, so needless to say I didn't move my hand for a good 10 hours. It felt disgusting.

Last picture of my baby belly!

What a wonderful hospital!

Anyway, they started some medicine and I was told to go to sleep.
First night in a hospital. First IV. First baby on the way.

Eventually, I did sleep. Hard. And before I knew it, it was July 1st and my doctor was sitting at the foot of my bed telling me how it would all go down. I nodded my head as they started my Pitocin. Now to wait.

And wait we did. We waited what seemed like forever.
Around noon, the doctor came in to break my water. Talk about a weird feeling. I still can't get over that! She said I had made some progression - maybe dilated to 5 cm - and that I should progress about 1 cm per hour. At that news, my spirits lifted. Soon, we would be holding our little girl. We'd get to see that little nose and squeeze her little feet.

Hour 473820 of enduring contractions.

The contractions came and went, but they were never anything I couldn't stand.
More Pitocin.
No more dilation.
More Pitocin.
No change.

By 5 pm, I was worn out. I was starving. And I was feeling pretty down.
That's when I did it.
I asked about my options.
Pain medication? Epidural? C-section?
My sweet nurse and husband encouraged me to stay strong.
But I knew something had to give.
After discussing it with the doctor, an epidural was ordered and suddenly all was right with the world! Oh epidural, how lovely you were!

After an hour, LC still hadn't made any progress.
The decision was made to wheel me back for a C-section.

As another first (surgery), I know I should have been scared. However, I knew that I had given it my best shot. Now I had to focus on what was best for baby.

I had not wanted to be induced.
I had not wanted an epidural.
I had not wanted a C-section.
But I kept reminding myself - Not my will, but yours. 

The C-section was somewhat of a blur. I remember Adam holding my hand. More medicine delivered. Pulling and tugging. Crying. And then LC was on my chest. My first look at our daughter.

From what I was told, this part took a while. I was losing a lot of blood due to the high amount of Pitocin in my body. The epidural began to creep up too far. I got light headed and felt my heart rate dropping. They snatched LC off my chest and handed her to Adam. My sweet husband, though, handed LC to a nurse and stayed by my side as they pumped my violently shaking body full of more medicine, covered me warm blankets, and asked me this and that.

Before long, LC was back on my chest and we were off to our room.
Well, our room or Cloud 9.
We couldn't stop staring at her.
And we still can't.

My sweet family meeting LC for the first time. <3

Right before her first bath.  

This picture makes my heart flutter. I have to be sappy and say that AHill was born for this role. He is a natural and LC already adores him. He has been super dad and super husband for the past 5 days. His love and patience get me through my tough times of feeling like a failure. I can't do much around the house. I have trouble getting off the couch, out of the bed.  My medicine makes me loopy AND sleepy. While he does everything, I rest. And he does it all with so much love.
Sappiness over. 

My dinner date while Adam was taking care of our fur babes at home.

That silky smooth head! Ahhh!

So, while we were waiting out the contractions, we decided to make a little video. This is pre-epidural, so I can't blame it on drugs! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

40 Weeks and Counting

Sometimes it's tough being an adult. It includes making choices you'd rather not make.
Like trading in your glorious, gas guzzling Tonka truck for a more family friendly ride. 
Or preparing a real dinner with vegetables instead of making that remaining piece of chocolate cake be dinner. They're tough, but you know it's for the best.

Tonka truck, I miss you.   :(

Sometimes, however, folks don't have the good sense to make tough decisions. Chalk it up to ignorance, denial, I don't know. But I do know that my thoughts automatically go to those occasions when folks just don't know it's time to leave. Maybe they're enjoying themselves. Maybe they're just really comfy. Whatever it is, they just don't seem to get any subtle, or not, clues that are dropped. 

Oh! I have the perfect example. 
And I'll even use names!

That's right. I just used the bold, italics, and underline feature. You know I'm serious. 

Is she really comfortable? Is she lazy? Or is she just really stubborn? Who knows. But I do know that we're running out of room. Seriously. She hit the 40 week mark yesterday, Monday, and shows no signs of wanting to head outta her current cozy abode. Honestly, I feel like we're both pretty uncomfortable. She''ll kick me at the top of my stomach, I'll try to press her back down, but it does no good. I can feel her from the top to the bottom of her living quarters. And the way she can make my stomach rock these days is like something from a sci-fi movie. She's gonna be a powerful little baby!

With the report from our doctor yesterday being the same as the previous week (read no progress),  things are now being talked about which I had never considered. Induction. Cesarean. Medications. She has some time, though - she can still make her entrance the way I want her to.... but wait. Is this LC already being defiant?!? Ha. Interestingly enough, my doctor will not allow me to go past 41 weeks. She said that would not only put baby in danger but me as well. Apparently the baby they thought would be on the small side is now potentially a little large for my frame.

So, I'm off to walk a couple miles while eating pineapple and spicy foods. Here's to hoping she comes soon!

Wedding with my favorite guy and almost 2nd grader!

Pizza with college friends Yuki and KRay!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week 39

Do you know how hot it is outside?
It's been a bajillion degrees outside for the past FOREVER. On the mornings I can't sleep, I take Buddy on a stroll. Just half a mile. And I come back covered in sweat! Sheesh. I work up a sweat just looking out the windows! My poor flowers have suffered, too; they all died because I refuse to step outside to water them and Adam takes no responsibility for flowers - something we agreed upon long ago.

So, while mother nature is busy making it feel like an oven out there, my little bun is almost ready to come outta the oven! Well, at least I sure hope she is. I feel like it. And I certainly look like it. When strangers mention in passing that surely you're miserable/must be near the end/look tired/are glowing (it's just sweat), you know it's time. Well, you'd think most people would know it's time. LC hasn't gotten the message yet. ;)

Even though we're sitting on ready, I know it could still be a while. I've vacuumed too many times to count and try to keep the house tidy. However, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be pregnant forever.

In the mean time, I'm trying to find ways to occupy myself. Mentally, there are tons of things I want to accomplish. Then I try to get off the couch. Ha! Mind says YES, body says NO. I try to go on a daily outing and find some way to piddle around the house.

This week, my dear Mal Pal came for a visit with her adorable little boy. I had such a good time.

Isaac being adorable and me being gigantic.

Love my Mal Pal! <3

Then I had a little fun while taking my weekly photo.

Week 27 vs Week 39
I know, I know. Terrible attempt at splicing two photos together. Oh well!

Sweet, annoying Buddy! He needs more exercise. 

Not photographed, for various reasons, was me trying to put the Pack & Play together in our bedroom. That thing. Ugh. I worked up a sweat trying to get it together. Also not photographed was the episode of me getting stung on the belly by a wasp. Terror ensued (me- tears, inability to sit still, more tears) while Adam saved the day (after realizing I wasn't shouting "OH MY GOSH" while holding my belly due to labor).

Tomorrow is my weekly doctor visit where I'll undoubtedly learn that I will indeed be pregnant forever. ;)

Cue the Uncertainty

There was no light coming through the bare blinds this morning, for the sun had yet to begin it's climb into and across the sky. I somehow managed to hoist myself and this gigantic stomach from one side of the bed to the other. I closed my eyes. Oh how I longed to go back to sleep, to stockpile sleepy hours while possible! But my mind raced as it so often does at 3 o'clock in the morning.
Tasks to complete.
My thoughts bounced from one thing to another. Sleep, I thought, will surly elude me for the rest of the morning.

It didn't.
But sleep did not come until I had thought long and hard about uncertainty. Questioning myself is nothing new; I do it every single day. I'm the queen of wishy-washy. But this was different. This type of uncertainty was so real, so deep, so scary.

Am I ready to be a mom?
Can I give LC everything she needs?
How will I know when to go to the hospital?
How am I ever going to get through labor?

So many questions.
My thoughts lapsed back to this weekend and an episode I will never forget.

It was a hot, Friday afternoon. My ever-present need to be doing something had taken over, and I had gone out into the garage to clean it up. I walked out to put some items in the trashcan when suddenly, a blazing pain came over me -the epicenter directly beneath my bellybutton. Immediately, my mind went to LC - had I done something to her? Did I tear something? Was this labor? 

I ran back to the garage where Adam was, all the while I was holding my painful belly, jumping up and down, and shouting "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" Poor Adam had no idea what was going on - was I in labor? I somehow managed to squeak out the details that I thought I had been stung, but he saw no mark. The pain kept coming. The tears started flowing. 

Before I knew it, Adam had steered me to the bed and was urging me to lie down. Reluctantly, I did. He walked out to get some ice, but I bounced right back up off the bed. The pain was too much. I had to move. Tears streaming down my face, pain from the terrible sting, and an intense Braxton Hicks contraction. Adam couldn't get me to calm down, lay down, or stop crying. 

With ice and some medication, I settled down but whined about it for the rest of the day. 

In retrospect, it was a pretty funny situation. But if I was that torn up over a sting, how will I ever be able to handle childbirth? Uncertainty at its best.

There are, however, a great many things of which I am certain.
An amazing, supportive husband who'll be amazing.
Eager family members who'll do just about anything for us.
LC is coming out one way or another.
Labor will undoubtedly be worse than a wasp sting.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The trouble with virtues...

When I think about little LC, I can't help but wonder what behaviors she might inherit from me or AHill. There's quite a long list I hope she gets from him and quite a list of things I hope she avoids from my gene pool.

One big one is my impatience. Now, the topic of whether or not impatience is a learned trait is a completely different topic, but I do know that patience is not really a virtue I possess. I strive to be efficient in all things (hahahaha - labor! That probably will require some patience...), and this waiting on baby to get ready to bust outta the womb is difficult. I know I'm a ticking time bomb, I know it's still potentially early, I know, I know. But it still doesn't help the waiting.

Sweet Gracie Girl patiently waiting, scheming, planning her next big escape. Teach LC, please!

So, whilst trying to distract myself from another unbearably hot afternoon, I thought I'd share some pictures from the last week. I'm trying to stay busy and keep my mind off of how much fun these last few weeks are. ;)

Sweet hubby and I went to see Jurassic World. Nothing like begin pregnant, sitting in a super cool theatre, and eating an entire LARGE bag of popcorn... 

It's a bajillion degrees right now, so that obviously calls for popsicles!

Saturday, the sweet folks at CrossFit Madison threw us a shower. Love these folks!
Sarah guessed my circumference - right on the money!

So many fun things!

While I will not miss heartburn, I will miss having a tv tray. Super handy when eating large pieces of chocolate cake.

Morning walks with Buddy. Love that dog.

Last week's picture. 

This week's picture!