Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Monday, September 28, 2009

2 Week Update...

Length: We went to the doctor today and the official measurement is 20 inches. This confirms my suspicions that I cannot accurately measure a wiggly baby but I'll still try :)
Weight: 7 POUNDS!!!!!!!
Feeding Schedule: She's still eating about every three hours and now wakes up on her own during the night when she gets hungry. She's gone from eating about an ounce and a half to almost three ounces at each feeding. I'm still pumping and feeding her by bottle since I have had mastitis for the last few days. My goal is to start breast feeding during the day next week and only bottle feed at night.
Sleeping Schedule: She's been awake more during the day during the last week. We get about 45 minutes to a hour and a half after a feeding where she's pretty alert and looking all over. During the night she sleeps great in-between feedings but it's rough getting her back to sleep after she eats. We're getting sleep in 2 1/2 hour increments right now and looking forward to longer stretches in the (hopefully) near future.
Milestones: She's holding her head up really well when we burp her, wiggling around on the tummy time mat, and focusing on faces when you hold her.
Best Moment This Week: Holding her on my chest last night after feeding her, she snuggled up against me and it was so sweet :)
Parenting Wisdom: Use Dove soap instead of J&J to prevent dry skin, don't leave a naked butt unattended or pee and poo will surely follow, take any help you can get around the house, and find a way to see your family and friends instead of being locked up in the house all the time.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Of all the things...

that this poor child could have inherited from me and she gets stuck with my uncanny ability to seek out germs. We were up all night with her howling and crying and after a visit to the doctor it looks like after 10 days of life, she's catching her first cold. :( I was hoping my immune system (or lack thereof) would be something that she didn't get stuck with... She seems okay right now but we'll see how tonight goes. After last night I feel like a total zombie so I'm hoping for some sleep in between feedings.

Oh, but the good news is that she's almost back up to her birth weight - 6 lbs. 13 oz. today at her appointment... One more ounce to go and we're there! Now, just to keep her healthy...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I never would have thunk it...

I really, really wasn't looking forward to breastfeeding and as the end of my pregnancy approached I knew that it was the best option for baby and I needed to try it for her. We struggled with it in the hospital and during our first days home, and we still have problems with it off and on. I had no way of knowing, however, that despite the frustration and intense pain - when it goes well, feeding Addison is hands down the sweetest part of my day. Holding her little body in one hand and seeing her peaceful little face makes me so glad that I decided to try it...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tummy Time...

It's exhausting being this cute!
Got enough pink? :)

I was filming Addison during tummy time and our cat, Raja, decided she needed in on the action. She came down to check out the baby and then proceeded to have some tummy time of her own in the background.

Monday, September 21, 2009

1 Week Old Already...

Length: 21 inches by my measurement but I'm no expert on measuring wiggly babies... but that's about an inch and a half growth spurt.
Weight: 6 lbs. 8.4 oz.
Feeding Schedule: We've been working really hard to get Addison back up to her birth weight of 6 lbs. 14 oz. so we have been instructed to feed her at least every 3 hours (more often if she is awake and seems hungry). It makes for long nights because each feeding has to be completed by the end of the third hour which means that we get to sleep, at most, for 2 hours and 30 minutes at a stretch. We want to breastfeed but she is VERY hard to wake up and we were spending a hour trying to get her to nurse during the night. After our visit to the ABC clinic today (I LOVE that place!) we will continue breastfeeding when she is awake and alert during the day but I'll also be pumping so we can feed her with a bottle at night.
Sleeping Schedule: Right now she really only is awake to feed, have her diaper changed, and for short periods after she eats. She spends almost all day and night sleeping soundly. I'm jealous.
Milestones: We've had lots of firsts this week - first day home, first car ride, first panicked call to the doctors office, first (sponge) bath, first trip around the block in the stroller...
Best Moment This Week: Holding her on my chest right after she was born and breastfeeding for the first time.
Parenting Wisdom: Listen to your gut. We had to call the doctor about her spitting up and poops because we weren't sure if she was sick or not. We may have seemed like overprotective, inexperienced parents but we thought something wasn't right and we did something about it. Now we know what is normal (and what's not) and we slept better that night because of it. Same thing goes with our breastfeeding issues - I was in pain and unable to nurse so we made the call to pump and bottle feed her for the day instead. It's not ideal but it worked for us and we got kudos for it at the ABC clinic today.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Daddy's Girl...

Lessons in Parenthood...

I suppose every first time parent goes through the same thing - everyone you know gives you advice and wisdom on how to care for your baby and what's "normal" but you get so much information that you end up forgetting it all. Addison scared us last night with what we thought was diarrhea and vomiting but after a call to the doctor's office we discovered that she's just getting too much milk and spitting up (not vomiting) and that because she's drinking breast milk she has very, um, liquidity poo. I'm sure somewhere along the way someone told us to expect that but it seems to be in the chunk of information my brain chose not to retain. So... if we could just keep her awake long enough to breastfeed and get full we'd have our current set of challenges all fixed up. I'm sure it's a never-ending cycle, we'll figure this part out and have a new set of concerns and questions. Welcome to parenthood, right?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eat baby, eat!

When Addison was born she weighed a whopping 6 lbs. 14 oz. (I was convinced she'd be closer to 7 lbs. 6 oz.). However, when we left the hospital she was down to 6 lbs. 7 oz. so they asked us to come back the following day to weigh her again and make sure she wasn't losing any more weight. I have been trying to breastfeed but we've had some difficulty and she wasn't getting enough to eat at each feeding. When we went back in she had dropped to 6 lbs. 3 oz. and that equaled a 10% weight loss which is not good. The nurse called the pediatrician and we were instructed to start supplementing with formula at each feeding. So, for the last 24 hours we have been giving 1 oz. of formula after each breastfeeding session and today at her weigh in she weighed 6 lbs. 6 oz. We're on the right track and we'll go for another weigh in on Monday to make sure that she's still gaining.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Addison's Arrival...

My final pregnancy picture... taken 9/12/09. I look like I was smuggling a watermelon under my shirt!!
After 38 weeks of pregnancy and four days of false labor, Addison finally decided to make her grand entrance on Sunday night.

Derek and I spent Sunday on the couch watching football and relaxing. It was the first day in almost a week that I wasn't having contractions and it looked like it was going to be a pretty uneventful day. My parents had been in town but decided to head to Oregon to visit my aunt and uncle so Derek and I took the afternoon to cheer the Seahawks on to victory. I took a half time nap and after a gourmet dinner of hot dogs (which ended up being my final pregnancy craving) and a "please let's go into labor" walk we headed for bed around 10pm. I didn't have a single contraction that day and as we were laying in bed I was scheming ways to get my doctor to strip my membranes at my appointment on Wednesday. Suddenly I was laying in a rather large puddle and found myself wondering if I had just peed the bed. I was totally in shock but told Derek that it was time to go and that my water had just broken. He was out of bed in an instant and I was off to the bathroom to try and clean up.

Derek loaded me into the car and by 10:20pm we were on our way to the hospital. I have to admit, none of the classes or books prepared me for the quantity of fluid... holy geeze. I leaked and leaked and leaked all the way to the hospital. We pulled up to the ER and Derek put me in a wheel chair where I proceeded to leak, and leak, and leak some more. We checked in and were sent up to Labor and Delivery where we were told to wait in the waiting room (HA!). I pointed out that I was sitting in the better part of a gallon of amniotic fluid and the nurses quickly made the decision to make up a triage room for us so we didn't create a water hazard in the halls.

We headed down the hall and were admitted to room 424. The nurse gave me a gown and had me change out of my (very) wet clothes and get situated. I climbed into the bed and waited for a nurse to come and check us out. At 11pm I started having some mild contractions and by the time the nurses came back to hook us up to the monitors and get us admitted I was having moderate contractions every 5 minutes or so. The nurse examined me and I was only dilated to 2cm. After three very painful tries, I got hooked up to the IV and then Derek and I started walking the halls. After a few laps around the fourth floor my contractions started picking up in intensity but weren't getting any closer together. We had to stop walking several times and Derek had to help me stand up because the pain got bad very quickly. We went back to the room and tried to watch TV while I paced around the room (wandering the halls when you are leaking, even on the maternity floor, is a hit on your self esteem so I stayed where no one could see me). The contractions got a lot stronger and longer but not closer together. They were lasting upwards of two minutes and were hitting 40 on the uterine monitor and I was barely able to breathe through them. When the nurse checked me at 3am I was dilated to 4cm and in enough pain that she encouraged me to think about getting the epidural lined up. I told her to go ahead and find the anesthesiolgist and at 3:45am they came to start my epidural. The contractions were horrendous and nothing I did could make me any more comfortable. It took about 20 minutes to get the epidural set up and started and it was 20 of the longest minutes of my life. Once the drugs started to kick in I got fairly numb and a little shaky but I couldn't feel the contractions and that alone made the pain of the epidural and the waiting worth it.

After the epidural was working in full force, Derek and I tried to get some rest for a few hours. After the epidural my contractions started slowing down and becoming more irregular so the doctor decided to start a petocin drip in my IV. This made the contractions come back much stronger and longer but still pretty far apart (thankfully I couldn't feel them). The problem with the petocin was that my contractions got really strong and each time I had one, Addison's heart rate would drop way down and set off the alarms on the monitors. It was so scary to see that number drop from 140 to the low 100's and 90's. The nurse had me try laying in different positions to try and take some of the stress off of Addison. The only position that seemed to work was semi-sitting. When the nurse checked my cervix around 9am I was dilated to almost 8cm and almost 100% effaced. The doctor was concerned that Addison was in a posterior position (meaning she'd be born facing the ceiling and not the floor, which explains all the back pain I'd been having the past week) so they had me turn on my left side in hopes that she would rotate before we started to push.
The nurses told me to wait until I had an intense urge to push so that I wouldn't have to push as long. During my contractions I could feel pressure but it wasn't constant so I tried to wait. At 11:30 I started feeling a really strong urge to push and a lot of pressure, even in between contractions so the nurses started breaking down the bed and getting the room ready for delivery. At 11:45 I started pushing and right away I could tell that something wasn't right. Addison was really low and even on the first push, the nurse could see the top of her head but as I pushed her heart rate dropped down really low. The nurse walked to the door and I could hear her calling and telling someone that she needed the doctor right away and that she wanted someone from neonatal intensive care in the room for the delivery because the baby's heart rate was in the 70's during pushing. That's really the last clear detail I can remember about delivering her - I have never been so scared in my entire life. I knew that I had to push to get her out and stop the stress on her but each push was causing her pain. The room quickly filled with people and for the next 15 minutes I pushed and panicked and pushed and panicked. The doctor decided to use the vacuum to guide her out during the last few pushes since she was posterior and to help get her out more quickly.

At 12:03 I gave my final push and heard that tiny little cry that I had been waiting for. The nurses put her on my chest while Derek cut the cord and I started bawling because I was scared that she wasn't okay, she was SO purple! Once the cord was cut the intensive care nurse took her to examine her and the rest of the people in the room started cleaning up and doing things to me that I wasn't even aware of. I delivered the placenta but wasn't really aware of what was going on because I was too busy watching the nurse and Addison. I had to have an episiotomy and after the placenta was delivered the doctor started stitching me up (thankfully I couldn't feel any of it). Once the nurse was satisfied that Addison was doing well (she scored a 9 on the APGAR!) they brought her back to me and I got to hold her on my chest and cuddle with her.
After that we got settled in and spent the next 48 hours in the hospital learning how to breastfeed, change diapers, swaddle, and do all sorts of other things that are WAY more complicated than they look :) We were discharged from the hospital at 2pm on Wednesday September 16th and now we're home learning how to be a family of three.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I am a wimp.

Let's face it people, if the fate of the world rested upon my uterus and my ability to procreate, we'd be goners. Allow me to explain...

I have been in "false labor" for four days. I think that is a laughable term because the only thing "false" about it is the fact that I have yet to produce a kid. I have contractions that feel like some combination of meat hooks in my back pulling me apart and a 2 x 4 beating me repeatedly in the stomach, my entire digestive track is in upheaval (but I shall spare you the gory details), and now I have lost the ability to sleep. Last night I had an intense contraction every 45 minutes and they lasted about 5 minutes each time. During my 40ish minute break I tried (and tried, and tried) to fall asleep but every time I got comfortable and close to nodding off I was seized by another mind numbing contraction. So, I think if I were to add it up, I got somewhere in the ballpark of 90 minutes of sleep last night and spent HOURS writhing in pain, trying not to wake my slumbering husband. Each time I contracted, I got up, tried to pee and then spent 10 minutes, standing half naked in the bathroom, hands on the counter, swaying back and forth trying to convince myself that I ain't seen nothing yet and I should go back to bed and get over it. It must have been an awful sight to behold. I am lucky that there are no cliffs or tall buildings in our bathroom because I seriously believe that at 4:30am today, I would have considered jumping.

So, my point (yes, I do have one) is that if this is how bravely I react to "false labor" how in the HELL am I going to deal with the real thing?? I've always known I had a low pain tolerance but this is ridiculous. The nurse at the hospital said to come back when I felt like I needed drugs. I felt like I needed drugs last night and I KNOW I'm not in true labor. So, if the world succumbs to massive destruction or disease and I am the last woman standing, please don't look to my uterus to save the human race.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hospital Run - Take One

Well, last night in the spirit of a first pregnancy we made our first (full term) pilgrimage to Memorial Hospital.

I was determined yesterday to go into labor - I picked up around the house, pulled weeds, went for a walk, cleaned up the garden, went into town and got my brows waxed and toes painted and by 1pm when I got home, low and behold, I was having contractions. They were stronger than any I've had so far (still bearable) and were seven minutes apart. I talked to Derek around 3pm and told him I thought we still had quite a while (most likely days) but continued to time them. By 5pm, when Derek got home, the contractions were every four minutes and lasting between a minute and two minutes each time. I was having a lot (A LOT) of pain and pressure in my low back and Addison kept head butting my cervix which exacerbated the pain of the contractions. We ate some dinner, went for a walk, and came home and stared at each other, unsure of what the next step was. We were told to go to the hospital when my contractions were one minute long, four minutes apart, and "uncomfortable". Well, we met those criteria so we packed the car and headed downtown. As always, the car ride made things infinitely worse and I was almost in tears by the time we got to the hospital.

We checked in through the ER and they sent us up to Labor and Delivery where we got seated in the WAITING ROOM with two other women in labor. (That was a bad sign) After about 30 minutes of squirming in my chair a sweet nurse came and took us to a monitoring room that we would be sharing with the loud, obnoxious family beside us. I was instructed to pee in a cup, change, and then a nurse would be in to stick her entire arm in my girlie bits to check my cervix. So, I peed, made Derek dress me so I didn't moon anyone in the room as I walked back to my bed, got hooked up to the monitors, and got a hand jammed up to my cervix. The good news, I'm now 90% effaced (up from 75% on Tuesday) and baby's head is VERY low but I'm still only 1 cm. dilated. (Side note: my blood pressure was 138/84 - it has NEVER been that high!! I'm normally 110/68. I must have been stressed!)

We sat and listened to the heart monitor and Derek watched football while I tried to tell myself that a) I could handle pain (big lies, people, big lies) and b) I was totally mentally and physically prepared to give birth in the next few hours (also, big lies). At about 9pm they had us get up an walk for a while to see if my cervix would open up anymore but after a few laps around the fourth floor it was apparent that we were content to stay at 1 cm. for the night. The doctor gave me some Ambien to help me sleep through the contractions (and turn me into a bumbling, wobbly zombie that had to get help getting off the potty in the middle of the night... ::sigh:: pregnancy is so awesome on your self esteem) but I did sleep.

When we were getting ready to leave I asked the nurse how we'd know that it was really time to come back, seeing as how the 4:1 ratio had proven false for us. She said when I reached the point that I couldn't walk or talk and felt like I needed drugs PRONTO, then we should make a return trip to labor and delivery. Um, I'm not sure I'm ready to be in so much pain that I can't walk or talk - I'm a weeny as it is. I also don't know how I'm going to birth a child when a cervical exam makes me want to scream... It has taken the full 9 months and I am now freaked out about how exactly we're going to get this child out of me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I'm not speaking to my uterus today.

Derek and I went out to dinner last night and as we were leaving the restaurant I started having contractions. By the time we got home they were lasting a minute and were coming like clockwork every four minutes. They were bearable but causing my back to hurt so I sat on the yoga ball for a bit and then we went for a walk. I called the hospital because Derek was ready to pack up and leave and they told us to wait until they were too painful to talk or walk through. So we waited, and waited, and waited. A couple times during the night I had contractions that were unbearable but they were few and far between. I really thought that we were going last night and now, 14 hours later, I'm only having mild, irregular contractions. I'm tempted to go jump on the neighbors trampoline in hopes of jump starting things.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

State of the Uterus (Update)

Cervix: I got checked for the first time today, I'm 75% effaced and dilated to 1 cm. So, it could be tonight or next week for all we know... at least I have the satisfaction of knowing some of the pain I've been in has been useful though....
Contractions: Still painful, but infrequent and irregular. Break water, break!
Tests: None
Verdict: Any day now... I'm voting for sooner rather than later...
Baby's Position: Head is down low, hence all my low back pain. She's locked and loaded!
Our next appointment is on 9/16... unless we go into labor before that!

One big disappointment from today's appointment is finding out that Dr. will be gone for the next two weeks on vacation which means, unless I have this kid by tomorrow night or wait two weeks, a stranger will be delivering us. I'm trying not to let it upset me but I really like Dr. H and I trust him, it'll be hard to know someone I've never met could deliver our child. Nothing I can do about it so I'm going to do my best to put on my big girl pants and deal with it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

37 Week Update

You'd have to fake a smile too if your feet were this swollen...
How far along? 37 weeks... only 21 days to go!
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? ::sigh:: Derek was kind enough to point out that some have indeed arrived.
Sleep: If getting up every two hours to pee, having contractions that make you cry, and not being able to get comfortable counts as sleep, then yea it's wonderful. I find it funny that other parents keep telling us to enjoy all the sleep we're getting... it makes me wonder if they remember the third trimester at all??
Best moment this week: Our ultrasound... seeing that Addison is head down, still a girl and looking healthly made me feel so great. Getting off bed rest and meds and hearing that we have the go-ahead to deliver was an added bonus.
Movement: She's slowing down but there are tiny feet that are always sticking out just under my ribs.
Food cravings: Eh, none really this week...
Gender: Still a girl!!
Belly Button: Still flat... I don't think I'm going to get a pokey outy one...
Labor Signs: Braxon Hicks contractions all day and night but they aren't getting regular or stronger so I guess I just have to suffer. I do think that she is in the process of dropping, my belly feels lower and I can actually feel a couple of rib bones which hasn't happened in forever. I also have to pee every hour and my digestive track is, well, not happy. I hear that's a good sign.
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach, my ankle bones, horseback riding, and my skinny jeans.
What I am looking forward to: Derek having two long weekends in a row... and of course, delivering this baby!
Weekly Wisdom: If you can survive 37 weeks of pregnancy, you can probably make it for 3 more. Hang in there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Since everyone is asking...

I shall share...

No, I'm not in labor yet.

I did housework yesterday (I think at this point it's called nesting seeing as how I felt compelled to scrub the shower door tracks and use pumice stone on the glass) and got about halfway through the house before I got tuckered out. I had very irregular contractions all day - sometimes they were close together and sometimes an hour apart but they never really got stronger or consistent. They hurt like a futhermucker but if I do some of the lame deep breathing from class I can get through them easily. My tummy (digestive track, not uterus) has also been having a fit since yesterday - I think I've set a record for both the most trips to the bathroom and the most ridiculously small amount of "productiveness" per trip. Tons of fun. If I were a betting woman (and I'm not because I lose ALL THE TIME at the casinos) I'd say we'll see this kid sometime between the 10th and 15th of this month. Derek thinks earlier, my parents think later... someone will get to be right. If anything new and exciting develops, I will post again because I know there is nothing my readers enjoy more than a blow-by-blow account of my insides.

Now... to tackle the kitchen and organize the pantry...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Here at last...

No, not the baby. We're still waiting on her.

Fall. My favorite season of the year... I know that it hasn't "officially" started yet but I count September 1st through November 30th as fall and they are my three favorite months of the year. I'm so excited for the days to get shorter and colder, to dig out sweaters and warm socks instead of flip flops and shorts. I want to make soups and chili for dinner and curl up under a blanket with Derek to watch football. I want to be able to drive in the valley and see all the orchards changing colors and dropping their leaves. I can't wait to take Addison trick-or-treating and have our first Thanksgiving as a family... there is so much that I am looking forward to in the next 12 weeks!! Good riddance summer and hellllllooooo fall :)

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