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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

1st after-hours pediatrician call...

We are such rookies... We had a bit of a panic on Sunday. Lily was crying like crazy and refusing to eat. We called her doctor and the lactation consultants and generally acted like stereotypical, panicked, 1st time parents. The doctor's very technical diagnosis? "She sounds gassy - try burping her more." Worked like a charm...

The positive things that came out of this? We have further confirmation that our pediatrician is awesome. And Shawn got to feed Lily some pumped milk for the first time.

Playing Catch-Up!

We've been slacking... Lily has had a great 2nd week. Here are pictures to prove it:
A glimpse of what a smile might look like
Just chillin'
Kisses from Daddy!

A visit from Grandpa Charlie - all the way from Connecticut!
Snoozing with Grandpa Bill the very next day - lucky girl!!

Lily's Grammy came up and spent a whole week with us - cuddling Lily, cooking, cleaning, and taking at least one late-night shift every night.

She and Lily had some good talks between 12 and 2 am!! She was a complete & total lifesaver to us and we'll never be able to adequately thank her for all that she did...

... And clearly Lily was quite content with Grammy!!

She misses her terribly now!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Little Peanut

Lily had her first official doctor's appointment today, and our little girl has finally started to gain some weight (thank goodness!). She's even tinier than she was at birth - now weighing in at only 6 pounds, 9 ounces. She's in the 15th percentile for weight... As a demonstration of just how small she is, look at how she stacks up against her first teddy bear:



Also, we learned that the hospital isn't always very "exact" when measuring a baby's length. Lily officially measured 20.5 inches at birth, but was only 19.25 inches today. She's so little!!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

The big sister weighs in:

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Scout is not entirely sure what to think of Lily, but she is definitely interested. Here she is smelling the baby's head and feet (especially fascinating from a dog's point of view, apparently!) Yesterday, she managed to get two quick licks in on Lily's nose and seemed quite proud of herself! She is not at all bothered by crying, and seems pretty willing to accept this new member of her "pack". And it doesn't hurt that mommy & daddy are being very liberal with both cookies and praise for being nice to her new baby sister!
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Handmade gifts



This is the cradle that Grandpa built for Daddy, and the super-soft blanket made by mommy & daddy's friend Jess Rice!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Lily's Birth Story - or "What we did for Valentine's Day"

I didn't want the baby to be born on Valentine's Day - I think everyone's birthday should be their own personal holiday. But if I've learned anything in the past 5 days, it's that what I want means very little... Lily is running the show now!

It all started off normally enough. On Monday, February 13th, I worked from home because we had a middle-of-the-afternoon, long doctor's appointment scheduled. I should have known something was up - I spent my "lunch break" on my hands and knees, scrubbing the grout of our bathroom floor. Nesting, much??

Our doctor's appointment was at 2:30 pm and I was excited because we were scheduled for both an ultrasound and a non-stress test. I thought it would be fun to see the baby again this late and to see if I was having any contractions. I was also anticipating a discussion about maybe being induced towards the end of the week - when we'd be at our due date. But, I was still hoping to avoid an induction if at all possible.

The ultrasound was really cool, and we got confirmation that the baby was still a "she". We also got to see her little face again - although she kept trying to hide behind one hand! Then we went in for the non-stress test, which took about an hour. The baby was moving like crazy, but I was not having any contractions.

So, we went in for my exam and to talk to the doctor. She was concerned for a couple of reasons. First, the ultrasound estimated the baby's weight at 6 pounds, 6 ounces (a full pound less than she actually was), which was a little on the small side. And, she actually seemed too active during the non-stress test, while I wasn't active enough (no contractions). Plus, I was still not making any more progress - I had been at 1 cm for about 3 weeks. The doctor was explaining how she was 98% sure that the baby was fine, but that we should talk about induction, when she accidentally broke my water. At which point, the decision was made! So, with that, my labor technically began at 4:30 pm on the 13th.

A couple of months ago, Shawn & I had decided to try and have an unmedicated birth. Our plan was to stay at home for the early part of labor and to use all of the relaxation methods we had been studying to get through the whole process. We knew that at least some of that had gone out the window with labor starting the way it did. We were allowed to go home briefly, to get our bags and take a shower, but we needed to get to the hospital pretty quick, since the risk of infection goes up once your water breaks. We called a couple of people on our way back to the hospital and checked in at 6:30 pm.

We settled in for a long night, and started trying all of the coping techniques... We walked the halls of the hospital for about 5 hours. I sat on the birthing ball, I took a shower, we breathed a lot. My parents arrived in Raleigh and my mom came by the hospital to check on us and walked with us for awhile too. I started contracting at about 7 pm, but all night long they stayed at about 7-8 minutes apart. They just wouldn't come together in a good pattern. I think this is probably because my body wasn't really ready for labor yet, but didn't have much choice but to start.

At about 5 am, my contractions seemed to change and get more intense, so we thought that we were getting closer. But then our nurse came to check on us and broke the bad news - after 14 hours of labor, I was only at 3 cm. I couldn't believe it - I was so disappointed. And the worse news was that my doctor felt like I wasn't contracting well enough, and that we needed to go ahead and start the dreaded pitocin - the one thing I said from the beginning that I didn't want. But we had a limited time frame because of the risk of infection, and I was really concerned about having to have a C-Section, if the baby wasn't born quickly enough (within 24 hours or so). So, I got hooked up to the drip at about 8:15 am. And it was at that point that I decided that an unmedicated birth was NOT going to happen...

Less than 15 minutes later the contractions were harder and stronger than anything I could have imagined, and coming really quick. The epidural couldn't come fast enough, but they needed to be sure that they had the pitocin dose right, so I had to wait an hour and a half to get the epidural. That hour and a half was my worst nightmare come to life! I said later that I wanted to throw myself out the window. Thank god for Shawn, who was a perfect coach - I would never have gotten through those contractions without him. He kept me breathing and as relaxed as possible, and let me squeeze his hands mercilessly.

The anesthesiologist arrived at 9:45 am and by 10:00 I was feeling sweet relief. At this point, neither Shawn or I had slept much at all, so we decided to get some rest while we could. I slept until 11:30 am and was checked again - good news - the pitocin was working and we were at 6 cm.

More sleep... At 1:00 pm, Shawn left to make some "update" phone calls. The nurse checked me again, as they were starting to think that I would need a dose of antibiotics - the 24 hour mark was getting close. But we were pleasantly surprised to find out that I was at 10 cm and that the baby had started to move down on her own! Shawn came back into the room with flowers and a Valentine's balloon and I greeted him with "Guess who's ready to push?!?!?" At this point I should mention what a miracle the epidural ended up being for me... I had gone through all of active labor and transition without feeling a thing and had gotten enough rest to be ready to push. I love the epidural man!!!

We started pushing at 2:05 pm and again, I felt very little. We had music playing and between pushes, Shawn & I were talking and laughing. I actually felt like I got to enjoy labor. After about an hour, the nurse called our doctor. And at 3:15 pm, just under 24 hours after my water was broken, Lily Sophia was born. She came out with that same hand by her face as we had seen on the ultrasound. And it's been there ever since - we have a heck of a time getting it out of her way so that she can eat!

They put her on my chest right away. She cried a little when they suctioned out her mouth, but otherwise, she was quiet and alert. Shawn & I both cried when we saw her. I knew that everything would be different after she arrived, I just didn't realize how profound it would be or how quickly the change would happen. And I still can't seem to put it into words... But the whole world seems different now. We are so in awe of this little girl.

We spent two days in the hospital and came home on Thursday, February 16th. Our little Valentine's surprise is such good baby... She's nursing like a champ and so far sleeping really well. We are trying to adjust to our new sleep schedule - two hours at a time. But looking at her sweet face makes it totally worth it. Labor didn't go the way we imagined (whose does?), but in the end, it was perfect.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

For Aunt Ann & Colleen:

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Already a fan!
Daddy dressed Lily today and shockingly, she's NOT wearing pink...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Lily's First Walk


So it was 70 and sunny today and Miss Lily decided it was the perfect day for her first walk. So off we went, with her big sister leading the way!





She looks so tiny in the stroller.


Our leader always decides when it is break time. While normally a bit of a slave driver, she kindly let us pause for a picture.

Swinging!

So far, Lily seems to like life at home!

More Pictures

Here are some more pictures from the hospital:


Minutes after birth

Grammy & Grandpa meet Lily


Daddy's little Valentine!


Auntie Erin introduces herself to Lily

Mommy checks out Lily's pouty lips!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Close-ups

I got some news that you all don't really care to see Mommy and I, so here's some close-ups of Miss Lily.
~Shawn


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Birthday!

She's here!!!!!

Lily Sophia was born at 3:15 pm on Tuesday, February 14, 2006.

She weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and measured 20.5 inches.
Mommy & Daddy are both doing well and couldn't be prouder of their little girl - who is entirely perfect! More photos will be added as soon as we can get them up...

Monday, February 13, 2006

It's time...

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Yes, I'm still pregnant!

(39 weeks) I had a doctor's appointment today and, in spite of the doctor's attempts to induce me last week, I am still pregnant and haven't made any more real progress towards labor.

So on Monday, I get to have an ultrasound and a non-stress test, and at that point they might want to talk about inducing me, if I go past my due date. I am not very excited about induction, and I am really hoping to go into labor on my own before we get to that point, so we'll see... Guess it's time to increase the walking and spicy foods!

C'mon Stowaway... come meet us!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2006

So that's what a panic attack feels like.

(38 weeks) So, Dad-to-be here. I figured given the fact that we are now REALLY down to the wire, I should speak up. My expectation is that shortly my voice will be entirely drowned out by the newest lady of the house.

I've been thinking a lot about this whole pregnancy thing, and it is pretty ingenious. Somewhere along the way, someone had the stellar idea that there shall be a 9 month waiting period for an infant. Even in this instant gratification world we live in, that timeline hasn't been terribly compressed. It's probably just bureaucracy. There are a lot of signatures and votes that have to take place before a new person is allowed. It was probably something congress thought up: "The Family Growth Retardation Bill" - touted as the new way to slow down all the crazies who want to just keep popping them out.

Not really, that's just silly. More realistically it was called "Fathers' Panic Attack Prevention Act". I mean, at T-minus 9 months, we have some "oh shit" moments, but 9 months is a really long time and mommy hasn't changed at all. No big deal. We've got plenty of time to get things ready, mentally prepare, do all the crazy couple-only, or non-dad things. As the months creep by, the changes are seemingly slow. Every now and then there is an internal debate about the state of dad's maturity, but it gets lost in the soon-to-be-dwarfed craziness of his life. Amazingly, as 9 months roll around, he has accepted it (more or less) and avoids any major incident. No sleepless nights, tossing and turning, worried whether we will have enough stuffed animals to make it through the first year, or mad internet-phonebook-local message board searches for the particular "He works late on Wednesday's and she's home caring for an infant and a special needs beagle" support group. Do you think I could find one of those???

Contrary to the title of this post, I'm pretty calm. Perhaps we need a 9 month waiting list on every major life-altering event. "Now that you've graduated, take 9 months to figure out how you will support yourself." It's a procrastinator's dream.

Now that it is almost here, I'm so excited. I'm excited that I'll be able to finally meet and hold this little person we've been talking so much about; excited that I'll get to show her new things everyday; excited to see her smile and laugh. (Not so excited about poopy diapers, but I know you've got to take the good with the smelly.)

As well, I'm happy to finally be able to take some of the burden off Kelly. She's been a champ through this. I've had it easy, with only one late-night craving run the whole time and very little hormonal-induced emotional valley's ... Lots of peaks though. Still, it is clearly a challenge to do just about anything while carrying another person. Simple things like going from sleeping on your left to sleeping on your right become a significant logistical issue. My feeble attempts to make her more comfortable are only successful about half the time.

Lately, she's gotten a pretty bad case of the pregnancy itchies and I'm helpless. Antihistamines, lotions, oatmeal baths, they don't seem to help much. It is supposed to stop after the birth, so for that reason, I've gone from "She can be late, it'll give us a little more time to have everything settled" to "Okay, maybe we add a little cayenne pepper to our spaghetti." I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I went back to the birthday pool on expectnet.com (Login: Babyhobbs1) and the first guess is the 12th. Maybe we're playing price-is-right rules and we all will lose. If not, I just hope the itchies go away soon, as it does not look like fun.

Thanks for listening. We'll keep you posted.
-Shawn