Squeaky Boots!

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on December 19th, 2008 @ 8:47 am

Lex found a great deal on boots for Anya on eBay.  He didn’t notice one of their significant features at the time of purchase:

Sierra’s birth story

Filed under: delivery/labor,doctor — by Lauren on December 16th, 2008 @ 11:18 pm

On the morning of Friday, December 5th, 2008, I woke up at 5:40 am when Anya decided she was done being asleep.  I went to the bathroom and discovered that I was wet through my underwear to my pants.  It wasn’t a huge amount, but way more than the slow fluid leaks I had been experiencing since Monday.  I was not experiencing any contractions.  I told Lex that there was a chance my water had broken while I was sleeping but I wasn’t sure.  I did not want to call the doctor at that time since I thought I’d be told to go to the hospital and I wasn’t going to head over there at 6 am for a possible false alarm.  Around 7 am I called and spoke to the midwife, who said as long as I didn’t have another gush of fluid or regular contractions I could wait to be seen in the office, but I should call and move my afternoon appointment up to the first one that morning – 11 am.  We called my mom and asked her to take Anya to her transition class and gave our doula a heads up that today might be the day.

The doctor confirmed my water had broken, but I was barely dilated and still not contracting.  She said we could go home and get our things but we should be at the hospital by 1 pm.  We had lunch and spent a little time with Anya before heading over.  Once there, we were quickly settled into our room and met the first of the four nurses who would work with us while I was in labor.  Still very few contractions to speak of at this point.  The doctor came in to see me and encouraged me to eat and drink lightly.  He also felt that I could expect not to deliver until the following day.

The afternoon was frustrating and kind of boring.  My contractions would pick up and then slow down, sometimes stopping altogether.  Lex and I walked the halls, bought a ridiculously expensive deck of Disney Princess playing cards (and had to look up more two player card games to play on his Blackberry when we ran out of the ones we knew), watched a little TV, tried to doze…  Still no consistent progress, though the contractions I was having were getting uncomfortable.  It had been many hours since my water broke (some time between 2:30 and 5 am).  The doctor felt we needed to take some action and wanted to start me on a low dose of Pitocin.  We did so at 12:30 am.  By then, our doula was on her way.

The contractions kicked in pretty soon after the Pitocin, but I was still able to rest in the bed through them.  Suddenly I felt a sharp, painful pop and I started to lose insane amounts of amniotic fluid.  That continued on and off for much of the rest of labor.  At one point I was sitting in a rocking chair on a chux pad, and it was flowing over every side of the seat.  The contractions got very intense and I was experiencing very strong pelvic pressure.  Lex and our doula did a great job supporting me through each contraction.

Around 6:30 am, I started to fall apart.  I had been more or less awake for more than 24 hours and the contractions were more than I could bear.  The doctor examined me and found I was still only 1 cm dilated (in my hysteria I thought he said 3 cm, which was devastating enough to me that no one had the heart to correct me).  I told Lex I couldn’t take it anymore, and the doctor agreed we needed to consider pain management.  He gave me several options, but recommended an epidural, and because I knew that he wanted to keep this birth as natural as possible, I trusted that he was giving me good advice.  We consented at 7:10 am, and then had to wait until I had enough IV fluids for the anesthesiologist to be able to give me the epidural.  Lex and our doula had to leave the room and I somehow managed to sit still enough between contractions for everything to get set up.  By 8:50 am the epidural had been working well enough that Lex, our doula, and I all managed to sleep a little, and I was dilated to 5 cm!

By 9:40 I was up to 7 cm and the baby was already at 0 station.  This was great news – Anya never got past -3 station.  I was pretty drowsy but could not stop shaking and having my teeth chatter, though I wasn’t cold.  This was most likely a reaction to the IV fluids, the Pitocin, and/or being in the transition stage of labor (which I blissfully couldn’t feel!).  The monitor showed that the contractions were extremely close together.  At 10:35 I was 9 cm and the baby was at +1 station.  The doctor felt I’d be ready to start pushing soon.  The epidural was turned down (it was turned off altogether during pushing). I was given an oxygen mask to use in between contractions, and Lex had ice chips ready to keep my mouth from getting too dry. At noon we started, and 34 minutes later we welcomed Sierra Claire into the world! After 31 to 33 1/2 hours from the time my water broke, we had our VBAC, and it was amazing. No joke – as soon as she was out the “We Did It” song from Dora the Explorer began playing in my head. Thanks, Anya!

Sierra was placed immediately on my chest and Lex cut the cord. She had Apgar scores of 9 and 9. The nurses took her to clean her up and suction her a little more while the doctor repaired the third degree tear I sustained from delivering Sierra’s shoulders. There was some concern because she had a little tachycardia and a slightly elevated temperature, but the pediatrician eventually cleared her and she was back in my arms. She was awake but drowsy. It took about an hour before she successfully latched on to nurse, and we spent most of that time gazing in awe at her. We’ve been enjoying every second with Sierra since she was born, and are so thankful to have her in our lives.

What Sierra did today

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on @ 10:36 pm

This morning she slept on her play mat:

Then she slept on the Boppy:

Later she slept in the sling:

No day is complete without a snooze in her favorite position:

At last!  Awake tonight:

When the hormones come down…

Filed under: baby's progress,moments,photos — by Lauren on December 15th, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

…the tears will surely follow.  I am not a crier by any means, but yesterday afternoon I bawled like the baby that Sierra is.  I had gone upstairs to get Anya after her nap.  Anya often takes a while to truly wake up, so I sat on her bed with her while she shook her groggies out.  She has this stuffed bunny; it’s one of those dolls that you can pull a cord (in this case, its tail) and it will play a short song.  I pulled the tail and as the music started to play, she said she wanted it.  She immediately cradled it in her arms and started rocking it like a baby, and that got me started.  Then she said, “She needs a friend!” and grabbed her Ernie doll.  When she began making them hug and hold hands, I completely lost it.  I know it seems silly and I’m doing a poor job describing what was so moving about the moment to me.  Here was this perfect little compassionate PERSON that I MADE, and now I have TWO of them!

In other news, Sierra’s umbilical cord stump fell off Saturday night, so expect pictures of her first real bath some time soon.  Also, after posting about Sierra only wanting to sleep when held in her one week update, she had two awesome nights in a row!  She slept mainly in the Co-Sleeper, and only woke to eat once between 11:30 pm and 7 am.  Both nights she ate quickly and went right back to sleep.  She probably would have slept even later than 7 am but we had to get our morning started.  I really hope this is the start of a trend.  I’m more rested now with a newborn than I was when I was pregnant!  Last, Sierra had her first bottle this morning.  It was just an ounce and half of expressed breast milk to see if she’d take it so I can go to Anya’s Hannukkah party at school on Thursday without worrying that Sierra will be hungry at home with Lex.  She downed it like a champ, and happily went back to the breast as soon as it was finished.

Sierra is one week old!

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor,photos — by Lauren on December 13th, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

First, I want to thank everyone for the many Facebook/blog comments, emails, text messages, phone calls, etc. we received during labor, after delivery, and when Sierra was in the NICU.  We very much appreciate all of the love and support.

Sierra is one week old today!  Amazing.  She had a weight check at the pediatrician’s office today, and she has fully regained her birth weight – 8 lbs, 7 oz.  The doctor was pleased and said she’s looking great.

She’s a very “good” baby for the most part.  Sierra doesn’t cry very much unless she’s hungry or needs a new diaper.  It’s hard to say which she objects to more, a dirty diaper or having that dirty diaper changed.  She LOVES to curl up on someone’s chest and cuddle.  Nursing is going extremely well, and she’s starting to nurse on both sides at most feedings, with a short break in between.  I love to listen to the little sighs and noises she makes while she eats.  She sleeps a whole lot, which is a new experience for me and Lex, though she’s starting to have longer periods of awake time.  Yesterday morning she had her eyes open for a good 40 minutes and she and I had fun singing some songs and playing on her play mat.  I might be suffering from doting-mommy-delusions, but I could swear she started attempting to reach for the toys intentionally.  She wasn’t good at it yet, of course, but she went from flailing with both of her arms and legs to only using the arm that was closest to the little hanging monkey while starting intently at it – and she was able to repeat the same thing a few more times that day.  Lex saw her do it, too.

I should clarify – Sierra sleeps beautifully during the day.  The past two nights, she has been reluctant to stay asleep, at least when in the Co-Sleeper.  I blame myself.  She is just so sweet and snuggly, and I like to hold her A LOT during the day.  She must be thinking it’s so nice to sleep while being held during the day, so why sleep by myself when my mommy is right there at night?  I’m not my most coherent at 3 in the morning, and I don’t make the best decisions then.  The good news is that she went about 5 hours last night without waking to nurse, BUT… she spent the majority of that time passed out in my arms (but hey, I slept well, too!).  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I love snuggling with her at night.  I forgot how much I loved having a sweet little baby sleep next to me.  However, I swore I would instill better sleeping habits in this baby than I did with Anya.  So far, I’m not doing a great job.  I’m not going to let her cry at this age, and pacifiers aren’t working just yet.  Oh, and the jury is still out on whether Sierra likes being swaddled or not.  Any ideas out there?

Anya is a pretty good big sister.  I don’t know that she always remembers that Sierra is there, but when she does she loves to touch her and kiss her.  It’s been a little a bit of a problem because Anya is fighting off a sinus infection and the doctor doesn’t want too much contact between them, but she’s pretty good about remembering to touch Sierra’s clothes and not her hands or face.  We’re trying to remind her not to touch the baby’s stuff right now; that’s not going very well.  It seems like in the last few weeks Anya has stopped listening to directions as well as she used to, and she’s definitely been a little clingy and a LOT whiny.  We’re not sure if it’s her age, the baby, being sick, or some combination of all three, but we’re trying our best to both set limits and let her know that we love her to bits.

Lex and I are both doing well overall.  He’s still suffering from the allergic reaction he had to the scrub brushes at the NICU, but the cortisone cream the dermatologist prescribed is helping.  The scale says I’ve lost 18 of the 35 lbs I gained, but I still have a good sized baby bump.  I’m feeling less sore and more mobile each day, and I haven’t been too tired.  I’m too happy to be tired.  I know I’m a big cornball, but this morning I told Lex I felt like I was going to explode with love 🙂

The first one’s still very cute, too

Filed under: Anya,funny — by Lex on @ 10:48 am

A smattering of cute stuff that Anya has said over the past few days:

“I’s eating my iPods!” (while eating her peapods)

Lauren announced that she was going to cut her nails later. Anya said: “You will get to watch a video, Mommy!”

This morning, after an especially dramatic breakfast (lots of crying over a booboo on her thumb), things had finally calmed down. After her banana, Cheerios with milk, and ricecake, Anya declared: “Crackers.” I prodded: “Would you like some crackers?”

She softly replied: “I want some crackers now, Daddy. Crackers will make me feel ALLLLL better.”

As I was writing this post, Anya sang a song, which I believe is a parody she wrote all by herself. First, she noted that the leaves were falling down outside. Then she sang:

“All the leaves are falling down
Falling down
Falling down
All the leaves are falling down
My fair lady”

I know you aren’t supposed to compare your kids, but…

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on December 12th, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

Anya……………………………………………………………….. and Sierra:

Videos of Sierra!

Filed under: family,video — by Lauren on December 11th, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

Just after Sierra was born:

Big sister Anya meets baby sister Sierra for the first time:

Anya holding Sierra:

Enjoying our first night at home as a family of four:

Tons of photos added

Filed under: photos — by Lex on December 10th, 2008 @ 2:31 pm

We’ve uploaded our first real batch of photos. Check out Sierra Claire’s first online album!

Some favorites:

Sierra with her big sister

Sierra with her big sister

Tired Family

Tired Family

Daddy the Jungle Gym

Daddy the Jungle Gym


Filed under: baby's progress — by Lex on December 9th, 2008 @ 4:44 pm
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