Thursday, March 31, 2011

Welcome Home

We were so happy to finally meet our little girl and even more excited to bring her home to be part of our family! Getting ready to leave the hospital First car rideWe walked in the door and recognized the yummy smell of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (my favorite!). My wonderful sister-in-law, Jen, had made them for me after I had Ashlyn and recently sent a batch back from Utah just about ready to be tossed in the oven when Paige was born. My mom had mixed in the last few ingredients and put them in the oven. I felt loved. :-) The big kids were at school and Ashlyn was getting ready to leave for preschool. She was so excited to meet her baby sister!


When I finally coaxed her away from the baby for a hug, the first thing she asked me was, "Did you get your lap back?!". Oh my sweet girl! She had been missing sitting on my lap the last few months. Ashlyn is such a snuggle bug and had been settling for laying over my tummy, but missed having me all to herself.


She was so excited to hold Paige before she went to school. I wish we could have captured the look on her face when Paige was first put into her arms. It was priceless. (Good thing my heart took a picture.)


She giggled and grinned at her tiny features and felt like such a big girl with a baby in her arms. After she kissed everyone goodbye, she put on her backpack, waived and said, "Bye, Baby Paige! I'm going to preschool. See you later!"


She has been our baby for the last 3 1/2 years and all of the sudden she seemed so grown up! My mom took Ashlyn to preschool and Jason left shortly after that to pick up a few things that I needed. It felt so good to be home. I snuggled up on the couch with my precious baby girl feeling very grateful for her and all of the people that take such good care of me.


Jason stopped into a little Brighton shop and brought me home a few very sweet gifts! A ladybug key chain because Paige's theme is ladybugs, a heart and scroll necklace and matching bracelet and a very sweet card. There are five hearts on the necklace to represent all five kids. (I still can't believe I'm a mom to 5 kids!)

My new bling! Yes, Paige counts as a new accessory! She even has a little bling that Talli made her!

The kids came home and could hardly contain their excitement! They were all dying to hold Paige! It seems like everyone has been sick and we were a little worried about Paige catching anything. We had the kids wash up and put on one of Jason's clean shirts to cover up whatever germs they may have brought home from school on their clothes. They were so excited to hold her that they didn't even complain.

Lauren would have held her forever but Austin was anxiously waiting his turn. He had been sick for a week and was at the tail end of it. Luckily, the nurse at the hospital sent us home with a bunch of face masks.Jessica was last, but oh so sweet with Paige. She had teared up the first time she saw her through the glass and the hospital and as she held her for the first time, there was a tenderness that made my heart even more full. (I didn't think it was possible.)


We are so excited to have Paige home and part of our family. I am excited to get to know her little personality.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hospital Stay

I think it's fun for the kids to know who came to the hospital and saw them when they were born, so I'm posting pictures so I don't forget. We had to stay in the hospital for and extra day to keep an eye on Paige. Luckily, I have wonderful family and friends who kept me company and brought us gifts and treats!

My Mom


My Dad

Jen and Jeff ( my Sister and Brother in Law)Kristin (My assistant and friend)Haley Margaret Sami and Riley and Me



Jeremy and Danielle (who delivered just a few days later!)



We even had a visit from the Girl Scouts of America! March 12 was the 99th Anniversary of Girl Scouts and they wanted to give a gift basket to the first baby girl born that weekend and invite her to someday be a Girl Scout.



Paige was a trooper through it all and spent very little time in her little bed. I had to take a picture of her in it after I got out of the shower on our second day there to show that she actually did use it once or twice!

The visitors we were missing the most, were the kids. It is cold and flu season and anyone under 14 was not allowed in our area of the hospital. My room was on the bottom floor with a huge floor to ceiling window. The kids were dying to meet Paige, so Jason brought them over to my window one night so they could see her through the glass.

It was torture to not be able to hug them, but so nice to be able to see them and let them meet Paige.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hollow


Hollow is the only word that would accurately describe how I felt during the first 4 hours after Paige was born. Literally and emotionally hollow. Just walking to the bathroom, I felt off balance from the new emptiness inside me and yet there was no sign of a baby in my recovery room. In my head, I knew she would be okay, but in my heart, I worried. I layed in my hospital bed and tried to sleep. I could only doze for a few minutes before I would find myself looking at the clock and wondering how much longer she would need to stay in the nursery. My arms felt empty, not holding the weight of her tiny body. There was no smell of sweet newborn or tiny cries in my room. Just silence and occasionally, Olga coming in to check on me.
After dinner, I decided I was strong enough to take a shower and wanted to be cleaned up before Paige came back. Just as I was getting ready to get in, Jason came in with the nurse and our sweet baby girl. I was overcome with emotion.

(Yes, I realize that crying pictures are never attractive, but I've learned to get over myself) It felt so good to be reunited, but I was left with the strangest feeling. I felt like I was holding someone else's baby. Jason reassured me that she was ours and hadn't been out of his sight.
I loved her and didn't want to put her down, but kept searching for something familiar. Somehow, she felt like a stranger. I thought when they put her back in my arms, the hollow feeling would go away. I think I was still in shock and just trying to soak it all in.


I spent the rest of the night with her in my arms, getting to know each other again and falling in love.

I'm so grateful to my wonderful nurseand for pink feet.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Labor and Delivery

After a few days of silence in the contractions department, I was starting to worry that my little resident was planning on staying permanently! I had only been asleep for about an hour, when the contractions woke me up. At first I was a little excited, but then I looked at the clock and felt a little frustrated. "Not this again!" I just knew I was in for another sleepless night and the contractions would fade as the sun came up. I tried to go back to sleep.

For the next few hours, I felt like a yo-yo. Back and forth, up and down. The contractions would get too strong and I would sneak out of bed, trying not to wake Jason up because I wasn't convinced I was really in labor. I would start to repack my hospital bag, catch a glimpse of the clock and my heavy eyes in the mirror and climb back in bad, only to be kicked out again by the pain.

I didn't want to believe or even wonder if I was really in labor, because I knew I would be so disappointed when I woke up in the morning still pregnant! Around 5am, I decided I was going to go to the hospital even if I wasn't in labor and just beg for mercy! I thought there had to be some nice doctor in there who would just induce me even if I wasn't in labor. But then, the big what if... What if they sent me home? UGGGG!

I finally woke Jason up, hoping he had slept enough to feel somewhat rested. "I'm going to to hospital," I told him with a scowl. His excitement switched to confusion at the sound of my voice. "Are you in labor?" he asked. "I don't know," I whined. (Imagine tired, frustrated, angry and sheepish all at the same time.) You would think I should know this by now! "You sound angry???? Are you mad?" he asked, still blinking the sleep from his eyes.

I unloaded all of the things going through my head the last few hours, stopping a few times to breathe through a contraction. He gave me a big hug, told me he loved me, and said, "Okay, let's go have a baby." To which, of course, I whined that I didn't even know for sure if I was in labor and what if ...(pause for contraction)... what if they send me home?" He asked me how far apart my contraction were. I scowled again and told him that I didn't know. I was too annoyed to time them out. I just knew I was having them and they hurt to much to sleep through. He pointed out that I had had several just while we were talking. He spent a minute to comfort me. He always has a way of calming me down and agreed that we should go to the hospital.

I called my dad to come stay with the sleeping kids and off we went. It was still dark when we got there. After being hooked up the the monitors, I was a little surprised when I learned that my contraction where between a minute and a half to three minutes apart! I was relieved when they said they were keeping me and then, a quick wave of fear when I realized I would actually have to "have" the baby for her to be here! I tried not to think about it.

The room was so big and comfortable! Shortly after we checked in, my nurse came in to introduce herself and we were thrilled when we recognized Olga, our same nurse when we had Ashlyn! She was fabulous! I loved looking over and seeing her little station. I couldn't believe we would be meeting our little girl in just a few hours.Yes, a smile while I was in labor. I knew it would be over soon! My contractions felt so much more intense when I would lay down, so I tried to stand up as much as I could. I kept myself distracted by playing Words with Friends on my iPhone. (Thanks friends for keeping be busy!) The monitors had a hard time staying in place while I was up, so eventually I gave in to the bed. Lucky for me, I had this cute guy by my side and my mom keeping me company until the hard work began.I was really nervous about getting an epidural after my spinal column was punctured during my epidural when I was delivering Ashlyn. There is nothing that compares to that head ache- well, that is what I thought at the time. I'm not sure anymore.

By the time I hit an 8, I was questioning my epidural decision. 9 changed my mind. They went out to get the anaethesiologist and came back to tell me that he had just been called into an emergency C section and would not be available for an hour. An HOUR??!!!! I was hoping someone could call a time out, but the baby had other plans. Ready or not...

Olga had been wonderful during the whole labor process and was so on top of my monitors. If I moved and she couldn't hear the baby's heart beat for a even a minute, she was in our room getting things readjusted. She has been a labor and delivery nurse for over 20 years and her experience showed.

The next part is sort of a blur. The pain was incredible. Jason was so supportive and soothing, but I still wished there was a way to exit my own body. Somehow, whether me moving or the baby moving or something else, we lost the baby's heart beat. Olga was of course all over it. As she readjusted my monitors she looked at me very seriously and said, "Tara, your baby needs you to breath." It took everything in me to concentrate on big deep breaths. I heard Olga say that she found the heartbeat and I thought I heard it faintly for a minute.

The next thing I knew she was telling me to push. I was thinking that was a terrible idea! Pushing hurts! I was voting we wait for the anaesthesiologist to finish up. Besides, my doctor wasn't there yet, so I knew she didn't think we were really going to have this baby right now. Once again, Olga was very firm and in charge. Jason, who was still holding my hand, leaned in close to reassure me that I could do it.

The doctor came in a few minutes later and a few minutes after that, Paige's head emerged with the umbilical cord wrapped so tightly around her neck that the doctor struggled to wiggle a finger between the cord and her neck to cut her free. (He later told me it was "a risky maneuver" because her shoulders had not been delivered yet, but he felt it had to be done.) A minute later she was born at 2:44 in the afternoon.

She was taken straight to her little "station" that I had been admiring all morning. It was her station that had gaven me reassurance when I thought it might be too hard. Seeing her empty bed and knowing she would soon be in it, had gaven me just what I needed to keep going. Now, seeing her whisked off before I could even see or hold her, was terrifying. She was surrounded by nurses and all I could see was her little purple foot, unresponsive and floppy as the nurse tried to rouse her. I heard someone say they found her heartbeat, but I could still see them using the bag valve mask to breathe for her. The silence was almost deafening. At 2 minutes, she scored a 2 on the Apgar test for having a heart beat. After what seemed like forever, we heard a quick small noise come from her, but I continued see them ventilating her tiny body. At ten minutes out, she was breathing on her own and scored a 7 on the Apgar test. Jason, who had been trying to be so strong for me, turned away and cried when she finally started breathing and then brought back his strong face to reassured me that she was going to be okay.


They said they needed to bring her to the nursery to be monitored for the next several hours. I asked if I could see her before they went and they agreed. It felt like an eternity, but after checking the time stamps on the pictures, I finally was able to meet my little girl at 2:59PM, 16 minutes after she was born. I don't think I have ever been so happy to hear a baby cry, even if it was just a weak complaint. The nurses that were hoovering around us, said it was time to go after a couple of minutes. Jason asked if he could stay with her and they agreed. He kissed me goodbye to watch over our little baby Paige in the nursery, and left me with my mom and Olga to take care of me. I'm so glad my mom was able to be there with me. After I got cleaned up, Olga wheeled me down to the nursery to see Paige (in a very interesting stand up wheel chair thing). I stayed for as long as I could stand and then had to go back to my recovery room. She seemed to be doing better, but gave everyone a few scares when her alarms went off on her monitors. Jason sat and held her hand so she wouldn't be scared. After several hours, they decided she was well enough to have her first bath before she was ready to come room in with me. They even let Jason help. She weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20 inches long.Welcome to the world Baby Paige! I'm glad you are a fighter and I'm so glad our nurse knew what she was doing!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Visitors

Jason got back from paintball with the boys, showered up and got ready for opening day of baseball. (He is coaching with Jeff and Aaron. Austin missed the cut off for the team by four days and decided to play baseball for the junior high.) Just as his last game was ending, Justin and Danale rolled into town! It was such a busy day, with back to back fun!
Cute little Carter has grown up so much already! He is such a "Mellow" baby! :-)Everybody wanted to hold and play with Carter and kept saying how they couldn't wait for our baby to get here. Colton is still as cute as ever and disappeared with the kids reminding me how fast the time goes when they are little.
We laughed a lot while they were here, as usual and busted the myth that eating large amounts of pineapple will put you into labor. My due date wasn't until March 24th, but after being told by my previous doctor that I wouldn't be able to carry her at all, I was surprised that she would be the baby that I would carry the longest! I started to think she was just showing off!
The next week, I could hardly think of anything else. I just kept wondering when she would come. A few nights she kept me up all night with contractions. Once, I was sure I was in labor and even got up at 3am and took a shower and made sure I had my bag all packed, only for the contractions to slowly start to fade. It was a little maddening! I gained a TON of weight and depending on the day, retained a TON of water and could hardly recognize myself! I heard lots of "Oh, you poor thing!" and "when are you due?" and "are you STILL pregnant?". I was totally over it. Luckily, this picture was taken the day before she was born.