lil

1 Year Later

Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!

Now playing: Carole King – It’s Too Late

Believe it or not, my daughter turned 1 year old on March 5th.

Time is a funny thing when you have a child. By far the top piece of advice I got was to treasure every moment because “they grow up so fast”. That’s been an interesting experience for me, because I can honestly say that I don’t feel that she’s growing up too fast just going through our day to day time together. When I look back, sure, it does seem surprising that she’s 1 year old now, but every day I don’t feel like time is blasting by at light speed.

I remember back when she was a newborn, and we were both struggling with feeding. The lactation consultant told me that it can take a baby 3-4 months to “get the hang of it”. I love my daughter to pieces, but at the time it felt like that time was creeping by, and in my most exhausted and most desperate times, I felt as though I would have given anything to make the time move faster. She was constantly hungry, I was constantly in pain (both emotionally and physically) and when my husband went back to work those feelings of helplessness increased substantially.

Of course, I did treasure the time I spent just holding her and looking at her,  but yes, I wished she’d grown a little faster so that she wouldn’t have to be so hungry all the time and I wouldn’t feel so guilty for not being able to give her what she needed.

I remember my husband saying he couldn’t wait until Lily became mobile. I laughed at that and told him that yes, we could wait. I just knew that her crawling would open up a whole new world of chaos, and it has! Even though it has been a total blast, there are times I wouldn’t have minded a few more days of non-mobile Lily! It was nice being able to put her down and know that if you walked 2 feet away, we knew where she was!

She’s not walking yet, but her pediatrician isn’t concerned, and neither are we. Back when she had her 9 month checkup, I was amazed at the very obvious efforts her doctor was making to NOT give us the impression that he felt that Lily was somehow “delayed” because she wasn’t crawling. I remember laughing and reminding him that, in my line of work, I have had my fair share of experience watching foster parents and children go through much more difficult experiences with developmental delays, so my expectations of Lily aren’t as high as I’m sure some other new parents are! Lily was born 3 weeks early, and she’s reached multiple milestones about 3 weeks later than other babies. And that’s okay!

She’s a happy, healthy, 22lb (as of the Wii Fit Plus this morning!) little girl with seven teeth, crazy hair, and bright blue eyes. She loves Cheerios, “yee yee”s (her name for bananas) and string cheese. She also loves vegetables (asparagus, spinach, green beans, potatoes, corn, squash, you name it!). She loves to dance to the beat and rock to the theme song from “Supernanny” (the STYLE Channel repeats) as well as the theme song from “The Big Bang Theory” and, yes, “Gene Simmons Family Jewels”. She goes bananas for kitties and her trusty stuffed Tigger is always at her side when she’s relaxing or sleeping. She’s been to Palm Desert (CA), Universal Studios, and the Oregon Coast. She loves her grandparents, her aunt Steph, and especially her uncle Geoff (her first time crawling was to him!).

It’s been a wonderful year and I’m confident that this next one will be just as great, if not better! :)

lil

Long day

Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!

Lily is in bed early tonight, and my husband is preoccupied with the Wii at the moment. Shadow is unsuccessfully attempting to convince Jonathan that it is his dinner time. The day’s craziness has given way to the blissful predictability that is the weekday evening.

Work was rather uneventful today. I find my lack of motivation to be rather dominant lately. I have been itching for a mommy-daughter day for some time now. Just the two of us, playing with toys, sharing an endless supply of snuggles, and not worrying about any of the current drama at work. I truly love every minute that my daughter and I share. They make everything else seem insignificant.

lil

Long night

Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!

Last night was a lot of fun! My in-laws came over for pizza, pop, and Beatles Rockband time. It’s becoming a little bit of a tradition around here :) I am eagerly awaiting getting the 2 additional Beatles guitars so that we have a bit more variety of instruments. Lily always enjoys the company as well and usually crashes pretty soundly and sleeps well. But last night wasn’t quite as smooth when it came to her sleeping! She woke up at 1am just screaming bloody murder (darn teeth!) and nothing we could do could soothe her, so we ended up taking her for a drive. Of course, I completely forgot to put on socks OR shoes (I’m lucky I could even find clothes in our dark bedroom!), which at first I didn’t think was a huge issue, but man, our garage flooring was COLD! My feet were starting to ache by the time Lily was all strapped into her car seat and I was in the car! All in all, that incident took about an hour away from our sleeping, and then she woke up at 5:15am wanting to nurse, so that took about 30 more minutes of my sleepytime. Luckily she went back to sleep nicely after that and didn’t wake up until almost 9:30! She doesn’t sleep in that late very often, but after such a long and busy night, I’m not too surprised!

lil

Back to Life

Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!

Now playing: Regina Spektor - Lady

Ms. Lily is just about 4 1/2 months old now!

Hee!

She has really blossomed into a bubbly, energetic, engaging little girl. She loves to be social and get smiles and giggles from other people. She doesn’t quite have the laughing thing down yet - it still is either a couple of quick snorts or a “aaaaah” with a smile - but she’s working on it! I can get some giggles if I pretend to laugh “hee hee hee” and smile at her.

She had her 4 month checkup on July 3rd and everything looked great. She handled all of her vaccinations like a pro, and her pediatrician said that she is looking great. We got the go-ahead to introduce her to some baby rice cereal, so we went out and bought her high chair and the appropriate utensils. We haven’t given it a whirl yet, because I want her to have some time to adjust to her new schedule, since I’ve gone back to work.

We went over to Jon’s parents on the 4th of July. I snapped a few photos of us before leaving the house.

Lily and Daddy

Lily and Mommy

So, I returned to work on June 30th. I had a really difficult time the night before, especially after putting her to bed for the night. Then when I was helping get her in her car seat that morning…that’s when things hit full force. I’m not sure quite how I made it in to work, but as soon as I got there, there were plenty of smiles and hugs from my friends and co-workers. I missed Lily like crazy, but I’ve made some very good friends at work and it was nice to get to see them again too. Everyone helps keep my day moving quickly so that I can get to Lily ASAP.

Lily stays with my mother in law during the day, and I head over there to feed her at lunch time every day. Well, I take that back - I WAS doing that, but lately she’s been taking longer morning naps so my mother in law brought her by twice last week instead. We’ve done a little bit of backsliding in the feeding area since introducing 1-2 bottles a day, but so far things haven’t gotten any worse, so they can only get better!

And, to further make mommyhood more practical, I’ve parted ways with my beloved Toyota Celica. I was insistent on trying to make having a 2-door hatchback “work” with being a new mom, but it just wasn’t working. At all. So, last Saturday my husband and I traded it in. We had already decided that the Dodge Journey was the way we wanted to go, and luckily our local Dodge dealer had just gotten two Journeys in - a white one and the deep water blue pearlcoat (the same color as the Journey on that web page) that Jon and I liked. So after rifling through looking for all of the compartments and a test drive, I left my beloved white Celica behind and joined the “crossover” crowd. I knew this day was coming, as it made sense (for many many reasons) for my car to be the trade-in…but it was still hard. As cheesy as it may sound, the salesman had to bring me tissue because my eyes kept welling up with tears. I love my Journey, don’t get me wrong, but my Celica was…well, part of my un-mommyhood. I truly enjoyed every trip in that car. As this past week has gone by, I’ve grown more and more attached to my Journey and I know we made the right decision, but it’s still hard!

So, things are otherwise pretty uneventful! Everyone is healthy, happy, and enjoying life :)

lil

The last week

Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!

Now playing: Liz Phair - Explain It To Me

I can’t believe I’m already saying this - but in 1 week I will be returning to work from my maternity leave.

I went into this pregnancy thinking that I would be able to handle the return to work. I had a plan in place. Lily would be staying with my mother in law, who lives very close to my husband’s work and is only a few minutes away from my work. I would be able to go visit her whenever I wanted to and she would bring her to nurse if time allowed. I thought I would be able to somewhat smoothly transition back into work.

Then I laid eyes on her in the operating room on March 5th, and I knew I was in trouble.

The past 3 1/2 months have been the most difficult months of my life. We have struggled intensely with nursing, resulting in numerous late nights and frustrating days where she screamed her head off while I sat in tears, breasts throbbing in pain, no milk flowing through them, while my husband hopelessly tried to keep my spirits intact. Tears flowed as I succumbed to the fact that I may not be able to breastfeed my daughter, watching my beautiful daughter hungrily nurse formula from a bottle as my husband holds her close. I’ve used two different breast pumps and underwent at least 5 sessions with a lactation consultant. We’ve tried herbal drops, herbal pills, and even Lily took reflux medication at one point to attempt to determine if the feeding issues were hers or mine.

I’ve struggled with some pretty intense jealousy issues as well. I’ve dealt with some strong (and admittedly irrational) fears that Lily will become more attached to my mother in law than to me. I’ve cried over the thoughts of missing her first words, her first steps, or hearing her call her “Mommy” instead of me. I go through times where I don’t want her to be over there solely because of these fears, yet I don’t want a stranger to watch her either. It’s absolutely  not meant to be derogatory towards my mother in law, and I fully admit that my feelings are irrational and serve no purpose other than to make this more difficult on me than it already will be - but the thoughts have been there regardless. Thank goodness my husband is very understanding and has not become offended by my ranting and raving.

Things have really been wonderful this past month. Lily has blossomed into a beautiful little girl with such a personality. She has recently found her voice and loves to talk with us. She is full of smiles, coos, and attempts at giggling (which consist of two to three quick snorts). She loves being grabbed and smothered in kisses all over her cheeks. She loves to lay on her back and kick her feet while looking up at the world around her. She also has finally mastered propping herself up while she is on her tummy as well. She desperately wants to talk and crawl. She is very persistent and definitely has an agenda all her own.

The feedings have been going much better as well. My last session with the lactation consultant ended with Lily happily taking in 5 ounces! That is HUGE for us. She did struggle off and on, but to get 5 oz…wow. I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I was so happy! There still is no real answer as to why she has her little fits while nursing, but at least I know she’s getting enough milk now. We found an herbal capsule that has just the right mix for me. I am so grateful for our lactation consultant.

I still struggle with the jealousy issue, but at least I am aware of my feelings, I can acknowledge them. I also realize that there is no real “solution”; I just have to learn to accept that I cannot be a stay at home mom at this point in our lives. The only way for me to get past this is just to deal with it as it happens.

She was such a gem on vacation. She was a talkative, bubbly little girl who did so well in the different surroundings. She was so precious, and it made it even more difficult for me when I’d realize that that was one of the last weeks I would be able to dedicate my entire day to her. While the rest of the family was playing games on the Wii or doing other things, I happily cuddled my daughter and watched the activities with her. She was the center of my trip. I had no desire to have a “break” from being her Mommy. I did everything I could and savored each and every second. I eagerly awaited her next feeding, cuddled her while she slept, and repeatedly watched her sleep in her bassinett.

Work is not what it used to be. So many things have changed - things that for my own selfish reasons I didn’t want to change. I was looking forward to returning to my “comfort zone”. Now things changed that I didn’t really want to change, while some things are hopelessly the same. I attended a unit meeting not long ago, and I brought Lily with me. It was surprisingly awkward being in that situation again. Other than seeing Vi, I felt very out of my element. I was tired of hearing the same complaints about the same things that bothered everyone back before I left. I wanted to leave. It made me dread the return to work even more.

I don’t really know how I’m going to make it through the day next Tuesday. I’ve run over things in my mind a hundred times. I’ve tried to find a way to afford to have me stay home. My husband even volunteered to find another job after seeing how I’ve been hurting - but I can’t ask him to do that. He enjoys working where he works. He’s dedicated five years to that job and he’s very secure. I don’t want him to leave.

All in all, Tuesday will be yet another test of my strength.

lil

Phases

Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!

Now playing: G. Love & Special Sauce - Superhero Brother
via FoxyTunes

It really is amazing just how much something like a pregnancy or childbirth can change how one looks at the world both as a whole and as day-to-day company. Being a new mother has been surprisingly therapeutic - almost cathartic - for me.

Going through something so taxing truly shows you who your REAL friends are. I am amazed at how my close, small circle of friends have again reached out to me these past few months, whether it’s through weekly phone calls, the occasional text message, or the random Facebook/MySpace message reminding me that they care. It has brought me a sense of…well, normalcy that I’ve found extremely comforting. It has reminded me of the joys that I shared before Lily, and I am looking forward to reconnecting with these people.

This experience has also returned a very dear friend to me, and has re-opened communication with another person that was very dear to me. These have been very pleasant surprises!

I am also surprised at my sudden ability to set boundaries where I never have before. Relationships and interactions that have long been unhealthy are no longer acceptable to me, as they not only affect my overall well-being, but that eventually expands to affect my daughter and my family. I want to treasure every moment that I have with Lily, and being stressed out or upset by teenage-style angst and stupid employee politics keeps me from absorbing each and every toothless grin my daughter graces me with each day. It’s just not worth it to allow myself to succumb to trying to take on the counselor role to those that are not willing to accept being counseled. It’s not worth it to allow myself to get stressed about immature behavior from people older than me. They will not change, and I can’t and won’t spend my time dwelling on that which I cannot change. I’ve already spent far too much time wondering why people do what they do, and getting stressed over people that behave (what I consider to be) illogically. It’s not worth it and, in most cases, the relationships are not worth it, either.

I truly have become a different person these past few months. My tolerance for bullshit and drama has lowered, and my priorities have changed. It feels wonderful to finally rid myself of so many of the burdens I’d placed on myself over the years. There are a lot of changes going on behind the scenes that I will have to adapt to in the near future.

Bring it on.

lil

2 months - and counting!

Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!

Now playing: The Mamas & the Papas - Monday, Monday

Our baby girl is 2 months old!

Our little Lily is growing into quite the entertaining, engaging little girl! She recently celebrated her 2 month “birthday” and has been growing nonstop since. Her original schedule of sleeping in between eating and diaper changes has now evolved to include some snuggling, cuddling, tummy time, “sitting” with us, and smiling! She’s working on the whole giggling thing - at the moment it consists of a huge, toothless grin and about four hearty snorts. But hey, we’ll take what we can get!

Her 2 month checkup went pretty well. She got her first shots, which was surprisingly hard for me to deal with. I originally thought I would handle it just fine, but once she felt what was going on, her little face turned about 3 shades of red and the loudest cries I’ve ever heard came barrelling out of her little lungs! She was groggy most of the night - poor baby! Other than that, the appointment went well! We were a bit concerned because she wasn’t eating very well. We were really struggling to make it through each time of breastfeeding. Unfortunately, she stopped gaining weight as well as she should and as a result, I have to take herbal supplements to help my milk production. I’m not too terribly surprised, as my mom also had trouble breastfeeding me and in the end had to switch to formula, but it’s not a huge ordeal for me. We found out at the appointment that the herbs definitely seem to be working, as now she’s gaining weight nicely and is a lot less fussy!

I must say that I’m happy that she was born early. Had she been born on April 1st, she would be about this age when we go down to California next month! These past few weeks have been incredibly stressful with the feeding issues and fussiness - I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for Lily and I to be going on a long car trip and being so far away from home AND dealing with these issues as well!

But things are definitely getting better. Lily has a wonderful peditrician and lots of love to boot! :)

lil

1 month (or so) later

Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!

Now playing: Lisa Loeb - What Am I Supposed To Say (Acoustic)

So our little lovebug is 1 month old! I am savoring each and every day with her and, while the month has gone by quickly overall, I do feel as though we are fully taking advantage of each minute we have with her, so I don’t feel like it’s “flying by” yet. Of course, that’s the top item of conversation from new parents - “the time flies by” - but so far, things are moving at a nice pace.

We took Lily for her first “big” car trip yesterday - 1 hour to Jon’s old college so that she could meet his friends. She handled the trip very well. We had to do lunch and a diaper change in the car in the parking lot, and she handled that very well too. She loves to be in the car and does very well with people. I was so proud of her!

She’s just now starting to become more aware of her surroundings and is breaking free of that newborn fog where she sleeps all the time. So, we’ve been taking advantage of that time by plopping her down on the floor:

Getting ready to crawl!

She’s such a strong little one! This was taken about a week ago. When she was just about a week and a half old, she was doing so well with holding her head up. We’ve just been amazed! Of course, she hasn’t quite figured out the whole “use your legs to move” idea, but she’s got the position pretty good!

Of course, I’ve been going picture crazy with her. I’ve loved having both my Nikon D60 and the little pink Sony CyberShot that I treated myself to. I bought the CyberShot because I wanted a small, compact camera that I could carry with me at all times. Plus, it wouldn’t really be practical for me to take the D60 to Disneyland in June!

Here are a couple of my favorite photos:

snoozin

bright eyes!

I probably won’t be posting too many photos of her here publicly, since my husband’s not that comfortable with it, but I have been adding photos to my Facebook and MySpace so that people I know can see them.

It’s been such fun so far, though. I can’t believe how lucky we are to have such a beautiful, smart little baby girl! :)

lil

A few weeks later

Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!

Now playing: Belinda Carlisle - I Get Weak
via FoxyTunes

Thanks, everyone, for all of the sweet comments and congratulations :) My husband and I have been touched by the outpouring of love and support that has been extended to our family and our little girl.

Lily will be four weeks old on Thursday, and overall things are going pretty well. Despite being born nearly a month early, Lily presents very few challenges outside of what would be considered “typical” for a newborn. Our only real struggle is with feeding. She knows how to latch on and drink, but she has a tendency to turn her head away from where the milk is flowin’, and every feed is a struggle because she gets very frustrated with the whole situation when that happens. Also, she’s famous for thrusting her hand/fist/thumb(s) in front of her face just when she’s about to latch on, then she gets very peeved when milk doesn’t come out of the appendage she’s selected at that particular time! Because of that, feeding her requires my husband’s help, because he has to hold her arms out of the way so that she can’t do that. I’ve met with the lactation consultant at our pediatrician’s office and she’s been a tremendous help, but everyone agrees that we’ll just have to wait for Lily to work through this problem on her own. It does make me a little nervous for what’s to come in two weeks when my husband returns to work part-time, but we’ll get through it.

Other than that, Lily is starting to grow into quite the little character! She already has a whole host of funny faces that she loves to make, and she’s got grunting and snorting down pat. For the past week and a half or so, she’s been able to lift her head for longer and longer periods of time, which has been fun to watch. Her legs are getting very strong, and she’s great at using her feet to push up against things and to make herself stiff as a board if she’s not particularly happy with things. Every day she gives us something new to watch.

I have more photos of her, but they are all on my husband’s computer, so as soon as I can get them transferred over to mine, I’ll do some posting.

lil

She’s Here!

Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!

February 28 - March 1 2009 - A weekend that was far too busy. I overdid it, but it was my own choosing. I had it set in my mind that I needed to get everything ready for Lily THAT weekend. I didn’t want to be messing around with stuff the rest of the month. I wanted to rest the rest of the month. We did tons of shopping, even hitting some stores multiple times in one day. I had a ton of energy and felt good, yet I found myself panicking that we wouldn’t have everything ready in time.

March 2 - I had my first less-than-appealing signal that something was happening. It was unpleasant. Luckily I had an OB appointment that day, so with a quick exam, I was told that yes, what I thought happened had happened, but there wasn’t anything to worry about, since it sometimes happens as early as a month before labor begins. I stuck that gooey occurance back in the back of my mind and didn’t think anything of it.

March 3 - Had to spend half of my morning at a unit meeting at a local restaurant, despite my intense urge to get my backup worker and co-workers briefed on all of my cases. It was essentially a collossal waste of time, but I went to the meeting anyway. When I got up from the meeting, I noticed an awkward trickling. It was ever so slight, but very noticeable. I called Mom to ask if she had anything with her to make it bearable and that would prevent it from ruining my clothes. Sure enough, she did.

I’d noticed my co-workers (and husband) treating me a little strangely all morning. I wasn’t sure what exactly was going on. Then, at lunch, I was surprised by a wonderful baby shower, thrown by my co-workers. My mom and mother in law and husband were all there. Everyone was extremely generous, and I was very touched by the outpouring of love and support for me, my husband, and our unborn little girl.

That night, I had the urge to start putting some of Lily’s things in a bag for our hospital trip. I realized that there was no reason that I couldn’t start packing HER things. It’s not like they were going to be needed that day, or even that week. But I lost track of time due to napping and other things and didn’t follow through.

March 4 - The trickling was much more noticable now, and it didn’t appear to let up at all. Still thinking it was just an afterthought from my exam that Monday, I took precautions to protect my clothes, treated myself to a decaf treat from the closest Human Bean, then headed to work. I was determined to get everything wrapped up THAT DAY. I had nothing scheduled.

I hadn’t really told my husband was was going on with my physically, out of fear that everyone would start panicking. I felt fine. I was sure it just had to do with the exam. But this morning I went ahead and called and told him that something was up. I promised to call Dr. R as soon as they opened at 9am.

Well, things didn’t go as smoothly as I wanted them to. Instead of having time with my backup worker, my supervisor wanted to talk to both of us together. This prevented me from doing what I’d wanted to do that morning with my backup worker. Before I knew it, it was lunch time (11:00) and I had just started talking with her, and I had forgotten to call the doc.

I drove home and wolfed down an apple. I decided to eat first just in case the doc wanted to see me. Then I called and told the receptionist what was going on.

She put me on hold for a few minutes, then asked if I could get down there right away. I said “Sure”. Just as I called my husband to let him know, he told me he was 2 minutes from home for lunch and that he would take me to the doctor’s.

I still was a bit in denial!

So, the doctor came in and did an exam and about 2 seconds into it, whoosh. Not so much a trickle anymore, but still not as crazy as you see in the movies.

He took the cotton swab to get checked. He came back in quickly.

“Yep. You’ve ruptured.”

I looked at him with what I’m sure was a dumbfounded look on my face.

“It’s time for you to walk across the street. We’re going to put you on Pitocin to induce your contractions and I’ll check in with you this afternoon. You’re going to have the baby!”

He then reassured me that things would go well, promised to see me soon, then left to call the hospital (which is across the street) and told them I was coming.

The door closed and I looked at my husband. We just stared at each other.

It couldn’t be. I couldn’t be going into labor. My water couldn’t have broken. I wasn’t due until April 1st. What if something was wrong?

I started to tear up. My husband hugged me and said that everything would be just fine.

We walked across the street in the rain. I called V to let her know what was going on and that I wouldn’t be back to work that day.

We walked through the doors of the hospital and met the security guard. My husband managed to choke out “My wife’s going into labor”.

I rushed through the registration paperwork, as our original paperwork was was sitting on my desk, 99% completed. All that was missing was our pediatrician, because we hadn’t decided yet. I hurriedly picked someone at the local clinic and gave them the paperwork back.

I was given Room 5 and a robe to change into.

We stared at the room, still in shock. I got changed and sat in bed, waiting for what would happen next. Then we realized that we didn’t have a single thing for ourselves, and we had nothing for Lily. My husband called his mom who agreed to run to our house and pick things up for us. Luckily all the baby shower gifts hadn’t been put away, so she was able to find a lot of things just by grabbing into bags and boxes.

My first nurse came in and hooked me up to the IV for the pitocin. For the next few hours, I was having contractions, but didn’t feel any of them. My husband and I watched some TV.

Dr. R came in to check on me. I still wasn’t feeling the contractions.

By 7pm, I still wasn’t feeling too much, although they were happening. My second labor nurse came in, who would be with me for the entire night. Dr. R said that if I hadn’t stated going into active labor by around 9, we would stop the pitocin and he would let me sleep until around 5pm.

I didn’t get that sleep.

I’m not sure when the pain really started hitting. By this point, my whole family was there, including my in laws. The contractions were surprisingly bearable. The birth ball (which is basically the same thing as those big rubber exercise balls) quickly became my best friend. Bouncing on it and rolling around in circles worked wonders. Everyone by now had figured out how to read the graph to show when a contraction was starting. My husband would tell me “one’s coming, sweetie” then whomever I was connected to at that time would hold me or talk to me and work me through it.

I hadn’t decided whether or not I wanted pain medication, but sometime after midnight, I asked for an IV medication to take the edge off a little bit. I was utterly exhausted. My nurse gave it to me and while I still felt pain, I was much more relaxed.

March 5 - Sometime around 4am, it was finally time to start pushing. This was by far the most painful, worst part of the entire experience. I pushed and pushed and pushed. I tried everything I could think of. My awesome nurse even attached the bar to the bed so that I could pull on that or squat.

Lily wasn’t moving.

By 6am, Dr. R showed up and told me that Lily wasn’t moving, and that he was recommending that I undergo a c-section.

I agreed with his decision.

The nurse brought my husband scrubs to wear and called the anasthesiologist. I was wheeled to the OR, exhausted and still having contractions. I was still pushing each time one would hit, as pushing was the only thing that made them feel more bearable.

I laid in the OR for what seemed like an eternity, awaiting the arrival of the anesthesiologist. I underwent another contraction. My nurse held me through it and had me focus on her blue eyes. I suddenly felt out of my element, as they hadn’t brought my husband into the room yet and all of my family was out there too. My nurse didn’t leave my side.

Finally the anesthesiologist came in and had me sit up for my spinal. My nurse rested her forehead against mine and had me focus on her while he administered it. To my surprise, it didn’t hurt. As he inserted it, I felt a contraction coming. Then it melted away and I felt my lower half begin to numb away.

I was so exhausted.

They moved me onto the table and hooked me up to whatever they needed to hook me up to.

Just as they put up the cloth to block my view of where the surgery would take place, I noticed Dr. R rushing everyone along.

“Okay people. We need to move. We need to get moving.”

That’s the only thing I remember hearing him saying. I started feeling extremely tired and started letting my body give into my exhaustion. I didn’t think anything of it.

My husband still wasn’t in the room.

I leaned my head back and told the anesthesiologist that I was nervous that I would feel something. He said “Don’t worry. Just so you know, they’ve already started operating!” I think I said something about not feeling a thing, but I was so out of sorts that I don’t remember.

Somehow, sometime, my husband appeared next to me.

I remember hearing people talking, but I don’t remember anything they were saying.

All of a sudden, I heard a nurse speak up.

“Time of birth - 6:39a.m.”

Lily was born.

But I didn’t hear anything.

No crying. No grunting.

I think my husband said something about her being beautiful, but I don’t remember.

Then I heard some choking, gasping, and a hint of crying, but that was it.

All of a sudden, my nurse showed up and told me that Lily had a cute birthmark on her leg.

Then someone, I don’t remember who, brought Lily over to my face. She was swaddled and had a cream colored hat on.

I cried and gave her a kiss.

They said they had to take her to the NICU for some breathing problems.

Then baby Lily was whisked away, my husband in tow.

Come to find out, the reason Dr. R began rushing everyone along was that I had a contraction and suddenly Lily’s heart rate plummetted. It became an emergency c-section. As a result, he had to do a vertical incision instead of the typical bikini-line horizontal incision. He apologized profusely for that. I told him I didn’t mind, and that I’ve never been a fan of bikinis or belly-baring clothes, anyway!

I didn’t get to see Lily until a few hours after her birth. Not only was she having some issues breathing, but her blood sugar was low and she needed to stay until her body improved. It was so  hard for me, because everyone else got to see her and touch her before I did. I had so looked forward to getting those first few minutes of time with my baby girl. I’d wanted to feed her.

The epidural took an abnormally long time to wear off, and there was nothing I could do until that point. Then finally, they brought her in to see me.

I was happy and overwhelmed all at the same time. Here she was. Almost a month early. We didn’t even have a bassinette. We didn’t have wipes. But we had our little girl.

I was officially discharged from the hospital on March 8th, but Lily was not discharged until the 9th. As if she hadn’t gone through enough, she was jaundiced and we had to have her sleep in one of the incubator things in our room overnight. I was so stressed out. I couldnt get up and take care of her like I wanted to, due to my incision. I had to rely on my husband for absolutely everything. My feet were enormously swollen and the few times I did get up, I struggled to keep balanced because my feet felt like tree trunks. I couldn’t even manage a walk around the hospital for a break. Somehow I managed to take showers, although that was a huge struggle as well.

But we finally got to bring her home on March 9th.

Overall, things are going well. She’s back up to her birth weight (7lbs 1oz) and is very healthy. We have one breastfeeding issue that we are working with her on, but other than that, she’s very healthy and bright. She makes the funniest facial expressions and is a very cuddly little one. She’s starting to get the hang of the whole bathing thing, and she has given us a few blessed nights with only waking up once, at 3am, to be fed. She doesn’t mind the TV being on and can sleep through life’s mundane sounds, such as phones ringing or cats meowing. She does great on car trips and being in stores.

And we love her :)