Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Love of Labor

Tomorrow marks 8 weeks that we have had our sweet baby girl here in the world with us. Yes, the old cliche that time flies is true. I love being home with Gia. What do we do all day? Besides, eat, sleep, poop, pee, repeat? We play! We talk, sing, dance, listen to music, read books, Gia sleeps and I stare at her. Gia plays on her playmat and I stare at her. Gia kicks in her bouncy seat and I stare at her. And we also do laundry and dishes. Since G was born, the strangest thing has happened...I enjoy doing laundry and dishes! I used to HATE doing them. Despise it even. But now, I take joy in folding each of her tiny socks, hanging her rompers, stuffing her cloth diapers. Making sure everything is neat and put in it's place and ready for her when she needs it. I'll prop her up on a pillow in our bed and she'll watch me fold clothes intently, cooing occassionally. She's the best. 
Really, my baby rocks. I am afraid to say (well, type) it out loud (in writing) because I don't want to jinx us. BUT, she is awesome sauce. She sleeps like a champ at night, in her own crib. Oh, and she will put herself to sleep, gleefully smiling at her mobile until she passes out. Of course, we read a book and I rock her and sing to to her before I put her down. But she actually prefers to be put down and left alone sometimes. Last night she slept from 11:30-5:30, then went right back down until 8:30, and then we snuggled in bed until 10:30. So mommy got about 10 hours of sleep. Boo-ya. Thanks G!
The smiles she started cracking a few weeks ago are now guaranteed whenever she wakes up in the morning or from a nap. Even diaper changes, which used to be a screamfest, are now full of smiles and baby talk. I think her first giggles are coming, soon...she is right on the brink! 
Every morning I wake up and look at her big round blue eyes and see that smile and I am just overcome with love and joy and gratitude. This little person is ours. She is all ours. How did we ever get so damn lucky? 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Let's do this

Well folks, I've been slacking. But I'm back and so excited to share Growing Poppy, Part Two. Our little Poppy seed is now a Gia Lenora and life is amazing. She is 6 weeks and 3 days old today. Time is flying. She started smiling last week and today she really let the grins loose. We are so in love with this little human. Life is good. And now that I feel like I have my feet at least touching back down on planet earth, I want to document EVERYTHING, like I did with my pregnancy. Hope you enjoy! 
Here are a few pics from the past 6 weeks...
In the hospital:


Posing pretty in her sleep

Gia's first St. Patty's Day

Poppy's Here

Gia Lenora is here! Born on Friday, February 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm. 9 lbs, 24 1/4 inches!

So how did she get here, on the outside, you wonder? Well strap on your seatbelts friends, because I'm going to take you on the bumpiest of rides! 

My due date was January 26th. The two weeks leading up to it were filled with excitement and anticipation...when would I go into labor?! Would my water break? Would contractions hit like a ton of bricks and we'd have to rush to the hospital? Start slow and then wake me up in the middle of the night? We waited. My belly grew bigger. And bigger. My growing baby was running out of room, and things were getting cramped up-in-hee-ya. 

I went to my 38 weeks appt, and the dr. checked me for progress....nothing. No biggie, still two weeks for little one to bake. 39 week appt...still nothing. "You'll definitely go early," everyone told me. "You're just too big to carry to full term." "I just have a feeling." Yeah, well your feeling was WRONG. 40 week appt...nothing. Now the disappointment was really beginning to weigh heavy. I had been counting down the days until we would get to meet our baby for months. I wanted to know who is in there, like...NOW! At my 40 week appt my dr. suggested induction. This is where you go into the hospital and they give you labor inducing drugs so you can have your baby. At this point Poppy's size was a concern, and if I went too far past my due date baby may not be able to fit through the birth canal. Sooooooo, we chose Monday, January 30th. I felt confident, however, that I would go into labor naturally before then. Yeah, well, I didn't. 

Monday the 30th finally arrived, and we were excited and in a state of disbelief that we would be meeting out little nugget that or the next day. I tried to warn Andy and our families that inductions can sometimes take several days. They weren't buying it. Because so-and-so got induced and had her baby in 5 hours, and so-and-so's wife had hers in 8, and on and on. Whatever. So we checked into Henry Ford Wyandotte Hosptial, nervous and anxious. They hooked me up to the stupid freakin IV (I hate those things) and pumped me with fluids. I saw the Dr. and he said they would start me on cervadil...a med that is supposed to soften the cervix and encourage dilation. They would put it in and then check me in 12 hours to see if it worked. Only then would they decide if it was worth it to start me on pitocin, which causes the actual contractions. Wait, 12 hours? Twelve Hours? TWELVE FREAKIN HOURS?! Oh. My. God. So they slipped the med into my crotch and we waited. And waited. And waited. Twleve hours later they checked me, and the cervadil had barely worked. I was 50% effaced and only a fingertip dilated. Drat. But the Dr. said he'd start me on pitocin anyway, since I had made SOME progress. And so they did, at 5am. Meanwhile, my poor husband in scrunched up in the corner of a stupid bench trying to sleep. It sucked. So, we got some sleep and waited for the pitocin to kick in. The monitor showed I was having mild contractions, and I could feel them but they weren't painful. This went on all day. Every few hours one Dr. or another would come in to check me. Ouch. Still a fingertip and 50%, still a fingertip and 50%. Even though the pitocin was causing contractions, I was not progressing. At 6pm the Dr. came in and said I was guessed it, 50% and a fingertip. So they told me to go home. THEY TOLD ME TO GO FREAKIN HOME. Failed induction. I was heartbroken. I could not believe we leaving that hospital and I was still pregnant. I tried to look on the bright side: I could at least eat after being on a diet of ice chips and italian ice for the past 36 hours. So we went to Roman Village and I drowned my pregnant sorrows in gnocchi and cannoli. 
The next morning I woke up at 5am to painful contractions. Much stronger than those I'd had in the hospital. I tried to blow them off and go back to sleep, but they were too painful. At around 8am i started to time them, and they were about 8-10 mins apart. I knew the rule was not to go to the hospital until contractions are 2-5 mins apart for at least an hour. I tried to remain calm and cool, but the reality of that happening had gone out the window about 2 weeks prior. So I obsessively timed them all day. They got closer together and much more painful. Very painful. By 1am that night I was sure the baby was crowning. So back to the hospital we headed. I was exhausted from not having slept much in the hospital or the night before. We get there. They check me. A fingertip dilated and 50% effaced. Still "early labor". Then send me home. Again. I have contractions all night and into the next day, Thursday. I go to my 41 week OB appt. I am now an entire cenimeter dilated! Wow! My OB tries to strip my membranes and tells me that I am not in active labor, and that no one said pregnancy would be easy and sometimes it is uncomfortable. UNCOMFORTABLE?! I have been having painful contractions, at this point every 3-8 minutes, for 2 days now. They do a non-stress test to make sure Poppy is healthy, during which I have a total meltdown to the nurse. This results in scheduling a C-Section for the following Monday, February 6th. The idea of being in this "early labor" for 4 more days seems unbearable to me. We go to my parents house. I have never been more exhausted in my life (bah, so I think!) and spend the next 7 hours pacing around their house, trying to cope with the pain. Finally, at 1am I tell Andy I cannot take it anymore. We decide to go to Oakwood Hospital this time. I can't even bear the thought of being sent home from Wyandotte a third time. We check into triage and tell the nurse my sob story and beg her not to send me home. They check me and I am 2 cenimeters...progress! Horrah! After another 2 hours of monitoring they check me again...3 cenimeters. Yay! They agress to admit me and I BEG for the epidural. They take pity on me and stick the needle in right away. Sigh. Huge relief. I sleep a few hours, hoping to wake up to find I am 10 centimeters dilated and ready to push. Ah, if only my cervix were so kind. I wake up to be checked around 10am and i am now...wait for it...still 3cm and 50%. I hang out with Andy, my parents, and brother all day. At one point something funky happens with my epidural and I feel a stabbing pain in my right hip. It is excruciating and lasts several hours. The the goddess, er, I mean, anesthesiologist, comes in and pumps some more stuff in my IV and it goes away. Thank the lord. I sleep a little more, and at 7pm they check me. 6cm. Yay. Rest some more, and at 10pm....6cm and 50% effaced. The doc says my cervix is actually hardening instead of softening, and I need to have a c-section. Fine! Great! Let's do it! Let's have a baby. PLEASE LET ME HAVE THIS BABY. I call my parents to tell them, Andy calls his mom and then puts on his funny blue paper outfit. I tell him I am not scared, I am so excited that we are finally going to meet our baby. He won't admit it but is a nervous wreck. So cute. By 10:25 I am in the operating room, shaking like a leaf. Hi, I'm being cut open and am wide awake. Weird. At 10:54 they say, "OK dad, stand up and take a look!". I have the most delightful baby screeches, and then Andy proudly announces, "It's a boy!". "I knew it!" I think to myself. Then I hear the doc say, "Look again, dad", and Andy reply, "It's a girl!". Apparently he did not pay attention in anatomy class. Omg! It's a girl! I got my girl! They lift her up for me to see too, and I can't believe my eyes. She is nothing I had imagined. Dark skin and dark hair and a perfect round face. "It's Gia!" Andy says, and I agree. We talk about how Italian she looks and how perfect her name fits. Then I heard Andy talking to him in the sweetest voice, a voice I have never heard before, a voice a Daddy has been saving his whole life for his baby girl. I hear her wailing her sweet little head off while they clean her up and weigh and measure her. And then my husband brings her over to me, wrapped up like a burrito with a little pink hat on her head. She stares at me and I stare back and brings her face to mine so I can kiss her perfect round cheecks. I tell her she is a dream come true. And she is. Everything I ever dreamed of, and so much more.