Friday, April 20, 2012

Babys First Easter

(Disclaimer: I apologize in advance for the lack of apostrophes, quotation marks and dashes. A little almost 3-month old who shall remain nameless spit up all over the upper right side of my keyboard when I held her up to the camera during a Skype session with Daddy. The aforementioned keys along with the Delete and Backspace buttons were compromised. Yuck! I'm going to do my best to add them in at the end via CharMap but apologize for any I miss ;) )

The week before Easter, I was at the mall looking for an Easter dress for myself when we came across the ol' Easter Bunny.  Though she wasn't in a cute spring dress, she did randomly have on a pink onesie with bunnies on it. So being a sucker for traditions, I actually <b>woke her up</b> from a nap to get the picture made.  I'm nuts, I know.  She actually did pretty well and we only had a couple hysterically crying pictures. I was tempted to select one of those for humor's sake, but figured there will be plenty of opportunities to get photos of her being tortured by a giant character of some sort down the road.

Don't they teach them to support the neck at Easter Bunny School?!
I emailed a picture of this picture to her Dad, thinking he would think it was adorable and love it! His response?
"I really hope she doesn't get sick from all the germs on that bunny and has to go the hospital and get a lumbar puncture."

Oh, pediatricians...

Later in the week my mom sent A and I a wonderful Easter Care Package filled with candy for me (SweeTarts Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies [which they CHANGED this year! Hmph!] and Peanut Butter Eggs) and some toys and dresses for Adrienne, including her very first Easter Dress and <u>MY</u> very FIRST dress! My mom had found the dress I wore home from the hospital and cleaned it all up and sent it to us. It fits perfect and I am so excited for her to wear it for a very special occasion coming up! {And yes, I was a chunky almost 10-pound baby so what I wore home from the hospital fits my almost three month old daughter ;)

That night we had a little fashion show before bed so we could send Grandma some pictures!

Aside from receiving wonderful Easter gifts, the lil sidekick and I were also lucky to be graced with a visit from Mimi & Pops for Easter!! Justin's parents drove in from Virginia on Friday and stayed with us until Tuesday. They hadn't seen Adrienne since she was 2 weeks old so it was great for them to see how much she has grown and changed.  We may have put Pops to work a lil bit as he tended to our lawn and even planted a tree for us! 

Being in a military town and in a military neighborhood, most people were away from their families for the holiday. Our street decided to have a cookout complete with Easter Egg hunt. It was mid-70s and absolutely perfect weather!

Pops & Mimi with Adrienne
I was a wee bit tired on Easter Sunday since I think we were experiencing a growth spurt over here and I was awakened by a cute lil girl every hour and a half from 9:30pm on. (Yes. EVERY. And thankfully it only lasted a couple days!) But we still had a great day. I cooked a teeny tiny ham for the three of us since our Champion Eater is still overseas and we of course had deviled eggs!

 We are definitely looking forward to having an Easter Egg hunter next year!

And to round out the post, a quick Easter story from years past...

When I was about 4 and my little brother was 2, my mom hid Easter Eggs for us on our deck. After we woke up and got our Easter Baskets, we went outside for the big hunt. I was SO into it! Seeking out the eggs from their little hiding spots and carefully placing them in my basket. My little brother was into it as well...following closely behind me and examining my loot. He had just learned a new word and was putting it to use. For every egg I would place in my basket, he would, unbeknownst to me, remove and slam on the ground, exclaiming "BALL!" I had no idea this was going on for the longest time but when I did realize, you examine the ish hit the fan! 

The best part? It is allll on video!

Birth Story - Part Two

When I left off, I was about to be taken to my room down the hall in L&D.

I had to wait a few minutes as they got my room ready. As I said earlier, they were SUPER busy. Dennis, the L&D Charge Nurse, came and gave me my lovely open-back gown to change into. Once I was ready, he gathered my bags (all of them...I'm not a light packer!) and we headed down the hall. I was surprised to be walking down to my room instead of being wheeled and I made sure to keep my trap door shut so I wouldn't give anyone a show!

The L&D Rooms are HUGE! Tons of space. I hopped up onto my bed and the nurses, along with Dennis, were coming in and out, getting my info for paperwork and hooking me up to all the machines to monitor A and me. At this point I still hadn't talked to my husband and was still all alone, though Lindsey was on her way. I started to wonder if the nurses were all talking about me or feeling sorry for me, "the girl who was all alone," because almost every one who came in the room would ask, "Do you have support coming?" (Yes, they all used the word "support"). I assured them I did.

One of the worst parts of the whole experience was getting my IV put in. I'm a wuss when it comes to needles (but lets be real, who isn't?!) and thought it was EXTREMELY painful! Throughout all this, I enjoyed getting to know Dennis and filling him in on my situation. He was a funny guy and we joked around with Leigh, one of the midwives. From the get-go, I explained that my mom was going to be en route in the morning and to do whatever he possibly could to hold this lil girl off until she arrived.

Months back, Justin had given me two emergency contact numbers to call if I needed to. It wasn't a number you could just dial up yourself; you had to contact a military operator to dial it for you. I had Dennis help me try and call but both numbers kept ringing busy. I sent him an email at 11:09pm letting him know I was actually admitted and this was the real deal. At the same time, he had been emailing me, letting me know my plan to go in and get checked out and have my mom go ahead and come into town was a good idea. Along with some sweet words of encouragement, he also let me know that the phone connections were pretty bad but he would try calling me soon. I'm sure he got quite the surprise when he finished sending the email to see via his inbox that I was indeed in labor!

Through check-ins from Linds, I knew she was set to arrive between 2:30 and 3am. The nurses all encouraged me to try to get some sleep but it was nearly impossible with both my adrenaline running like crazy and the constant interruptions to check my vitals. I was able to catch small cat naps here and there but, truthfully, I enjoyed just being able to relax and catch my breath because I knew the next umpteen years would likely be void of a lot of peaceful alone time. I watched some Food Network, fooled around online thanks to hospital WiFi and texted back and forth with Courtney {who promised me she wouldn't be able to sleep thanks to a combo of excitement for me and anxiety from being away from Ev for the first time. At one point, she sent me a text saying "Its 3am and I'm up pumping and you're in labor. When did we grow up?!" }

I snapped this pic after shuffling back to bed after a bathroom pic {it isn't exactly easy walking across the room with cords and machines coming out of your body.}
Emailed to Justin with the caption
"Just to prove I'm not bluffing!"

Each time my vitals were checked, I would email all the #s to Justin. Being a nerd {read: doc}, I knew this would all be important info to him and would also make him feel part of the whole experience. Because of that, I have a lovely collection of emails containing tids & bits of information like this:

9:54pm BP 123/80, As heart rate 140
11:01 115/65 no signs or symptoms of PIH, rest comfortable
1:57am 106/57
4:36am 100/58 --- around time of epidural got down to 77/45 and 88/56. This was expected by the Nurse and CrNA so they gave me 10mg of ephedrine now at 4:50 115/65 nurse wanted me to make sure you knew Adrienne handled it beautifully. No signs of fetal deceleration

{Looking back, even though it was because he couldn't be there with me, I'm so glad I have all the emails between us. I'll treasure them always! It also helps remember the play-by-play and sequence of events since its been almost THREE MONTHS and Ive forgotten some of the details!}

Photo of what I referred to as the "Baby Cabana" emailed to Justin along with the caption:
"I cant believe our baby is going to be in there soon!"
{Foreshadowing: She never would be!}

Around 2am, after being awaken to get vitals, I thought I heard a voice out in the hallway. Sure enough, when the came back in the room, he was accompanied by my friend Lindsey. Seeing the familiar face of one of my dearest and oldest friends was so overwhelmingly comforting that I shed (quite) a few tears when she hugged me. I'm truly blessed to have the most amazing friends in the world! Once she arrived, my adrenaline was pumping so hard it was going to be hard to fall back asleep. Plus, I had just recently started feeling contractions and they began to get intense pretty fast! The nurses told me not to try and be brave if I already knew I was going to get an epidural. As soon as I started feeling too much pain, let em know and they'd get it flowin!

I did try to hold off as long as I could, simply because then I knew I would be bedridden until Miss A arrived and I wasn't sure I was at that point quite yet! Plus {TMI...}, once the epidural was in, the catheter would be too and I wanted to get some "business" done before that point.

Linds and I chatted for a bit and I updated her on everything that had happened since I checked in. Since she is a College of Charleston alum, we laughed about the events there earlier that day thanks to Stephen Colbert's "Rock You Like A Herman Cain" rally.

The PB&J I made myself before leaving the house wasnt doing anything to subside my hunger now at 3:30am. I was only allowed ice chips and Popsicles, one of which I was sick of and the other I didn't have. I demanded Linds offered to go get some for me but we didn't want to have to deal with her going on/off post in the middle of the night. So one of the sweet nurses drove her to the Shoppette and used her ID to buy me Popsicles. {SOAPBOX: This was just the beginning of the amazing gestures and acts of kindness I was shown! The staff at the hospital was just beyond words...I know military healthcare gets a bad reputation and most of the time when people are describing their experience, they're complaining about it. The fact of the matter is, it's healthcare. There are going to be good and bad things no matter where you are. I worked on the private side back in TX and I truthfully think we have it a LOT better over on the military side! Stepping down now...}

Yummm! Ice chips!
When Lindsey and Monique returned with my loot {Bonus! They also grabbed some SweeTarts & Sprees!}, they arrived in perfect time because contractions were intensifying and getting pretty strong! I was about at the point where I was ready to get a GIANT NEEDLE in my back.

I'm not one who would classify myself as afraid of needles. I'm just not a fan of pain and with needles usually comes pain. Now Lindsey on the other petrified, I mean DEATHLY PETRIFIED of needles. This is something that never crossed my mind (but probably crossed hers) all along while planning to have her be my back up. Medicated deliveries, which I was planning on having, usually involve quite a bit of needles. In fact, this never hit me until the CNA came into the room wielding a cart FULL of needles. I looked at Linds and said, "How are you gonna do this?!" Thankfully, Dennis and the CNA made sure no needles came into her line of vision, so we were good. ;)

I'm gonna be honest and say that I'm probably not the BEST listener in the world at moments when I should be. While Dennis was explaining the process of the epidural, my mind was kinda drifting in and out between thoughts of "Howmuchisthisgoingtohurt?” and "Icantbelievethisishappening."  So when I felt my body jump during the administration of the epidural, I got so upset and afraid that I had messed something up that I started crying! Even after Dennis told me, "I told you that was going to happen, remember?" {I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that I had drifted OUT during that portion of the explanation...} I was still a bit shaken up for about 15 minutes. 

All in all, it wasn't too bad. They had me sit on the side of the bed and Lindsey stood facing me. I kinda draped myself onto her and she braced me to help me remain still. Physically, I felt the first needle go in and then the burning of the medication before feeling a dull ache. Mentally, it was pretty weird. I was so scared of moving and being paralyzed for life. {Slim chance, I know, but still...} Plus it isn't exactly a calming feeling to know that a GIANT needle is going into your back.

Within almost seconds, my legs and toes started to tingle and the pain I was feeling from the contractions slipped away! Ahh, bliss. But then, my blood pressure started to rapidly decline and I got verrrry woozy and lightheaded. Since my BP had been on the lower side of normal, the nurses had an idea this would happen so they laid me on my back and then gave me some meds to balance everything out. Okay, now it was bliss.

The contractions had been a little too painful to sleep through earlier so we decided to go ahead and catch some Zzzz's while we had an opportunity. Saturday was going to be a loooong day and we would need all the energy we could get!