Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Year in Review



2011 can best be described as a Dickens novel - It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Scott and I started off the year with a few home improvement projects and lots of work. In February, I was laid off from my job in marketing but quickly found work at a non-profit as a Communications Manager. I had a brief break between jobs and was able to visit a friend in Newport, Oregon where she was working on a temp assignment. It was a fun weekend!


Shortly after that in March, Scott and I found out we were going to be parents. We were quite excited and I became obsessed with learning all there is to know about pregnancy and babies. I was also nervous as I had just started a new job. That situation worked out when I was laid off again! The company didn't have the funding for my position and so I spent the summer as a lady of leisure. I swam daily, planned for the baby and enjoyed my free time.


In June, Scott and I took a trip to Maui. It was a delightful vacation and Scott was able to really relax. In August, my parents came over and helped Scott paint the baby's room and part of our kitchen. I spent the few weeks after that getting the room finished up. I really enjoyed decorating the baby's room. I also learned in late August that I had gestational diabetes which meant a huge diet change for me, a good diet change. 

In September, my Mother suffered a heart attack. There were moments when we weren't sure how well she was going to recover and those days were long and scary. Happily I can say that she is doing so much better. She continues to amaze us daily with her strength and determination. My Dad has been along her side, every step of the way. The love they have for each other inspires Scott and I.



In November, Scott and I were finally able to meet our daughter, Molly Ann. She is named after Scott's Great Grandmother, Molly. She came on Thanksgiving Day after a long induction and labor. Scott was an amazing support throughout the delivery and in fact through my entire pregnancy. The last few weeks have been a blur of sleeplessness, dirty diapers and more fun than we could have imagined. We are so in love with our daughter.

Without Molly, this year would have been crap but she has brought a wonderful glow to an otherwise trying year. Thank golly for Miss Molly! 

*All photos in this post taken by my lovely friends, Margaret and Danny.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

On Meeting The Love of My Life

Super Pregnant in Mom's Therapy Room

On Tuesday evening, Scott and I headed to the hospital as I was being induced due to my gestational diabetes. We were admitted and shown to our room. I had a Cook's Catheter placed for induction and we were sent home to sleep for the night.  After a far too short night of sleep, we returned to the hospital. I then had Misoprostal placed and we began waiting. I also had a central line placed. It took six painful pokes for them to get it placed and I was ready to leave at that point. Later that day, they started a Pitocin drip which got the contractions rolling. They weren't painful at that point and I was cocky. I may have said things like, "These aren't so bad!" and "I can totally do this without pain medication!" It was interesting feeling the contractions. Part of my stomach would be HARD while the rest would be squishy. I made Scott feel the difference and he was intrigued. I experienced contractions through the night (which meant little to no sleep) and in the morning around 5:30 a.m., my water broke and that is when it got real.

IMG_4211

I started to experience back labor and asked for a heating pad along with some Tylenol. I didn't know that I was having back labor. I just thought my back hurt. And boy did it HURT! At one point during the day, I hid in the bathroom and told my nurse that she could take my vitals in there as I was not coming out. I couldn't move around too much as I was hooked up to 4 IV bags which required a HUGE pole and had two internal monitors for contractions and the baby's heart beat. That made it quite difficult for me to move about. Scott though did everything in his power to make it all easier for me. He rubbed my back, he stroked my hair, he gave me things to think about. And all of these things helped until the pain got to be too much and I asked for an epidural. Scott was fantastic and told the nurse that I wanted pain medication STAT. The anesthesiologist came in and said that I could not wiggle or move during my contractions as she placed the epidural. That was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm surprised that Scott's arms are not black and blue from my grip during the placement.  


scott-in-scrubs


The epidural provided blessed relief and I was able to sleep for a few hours before I was told that I was at 10 cm (or as our nurse joked with us, you made it to 11! We had been joking that we were like Spinal Tap and were going to go past 10 to 11!) She had me labor down for an hour before starting to push. That is when Scott's support really come into play. The doctor on call came in and the nurse brought in another nurse who was training to be a midwife. They both helped me push and gave me some instructions on how to best do it. Since I was being monitored, Scott was able to tell when my contractions were starting and could tell me when to start pushing and when to stop. He counted, he chanted, he supported me through 3 and a half hours of pushing. After pushing for so long, the baby was only about half way down and now where near coming out. My hips were aching and I decided that I wanted a C-Section. I knew I couldn't push any longer. The doctor also said that baby wasn't far enough down for a vacuum extraction.  Within minutes of my announcement, I was being whisked to the OR. I was introduced to the OB surgeon (my doctor is a family doctor which meant the doctor on call was also a family doctor and unable to do c-sections on their own). Scott had to wait in the hallway while they prepped me for surgery. He said that he freaked out in the hallway and that it was incredibly scary. I was never scared but I think I was so focused on meeting my daughter that fear was not allowed to enter. I also knew that the faster the surgery was over, the better. 


Sleeping Molly


The surgery was quick! On Thanksgiving Day at 6:27 p.m., Molly was delivered within minutes of Scott being allowed in the OR. I felt all the tugging and pressure but no pain. It was the strangest feeling. The cord was around Molly's neck and we think was the reason she wasn't progressing down the birth canal. Everyone said right away how beautiful our daughter was but I didn't believe them. I mean who is going to say that someone's newborn is ugly? So I asked Scott, Is she cute? He laughed and said, they said she is beautiful and she is! I then started to get the chills, which is very common and had the anesthesiologist talk me through it. She was wonderful. She told me just enough the surgery but did not give me all the details. They quickly cleaned Molly up and gave her to Scott who brought my daughter over for a proper introduction. I fell in love right away. Well to be honest, I've been in love with her since I saw her on the ultrasound at 9 weeks but it was more real on the outside.

Mom and Molly

They gave Molly to me to hold as we were wheeled back up to our hospital room. Once there, we were surrounded by a swarm of nurses and doctors. After awhile, things settled down and Scott and I were left with our daughter. That is when we began to cry over the wonderfulness of our daughter. We made a human bean! A beautiful one! We had a long first night as we couldn't sleep. We just wanted to gaze at our daughter. Also we discovered that our daughter does not like to sleep outside of our arms AT ALL. Sleeping in a crib or a bassinet is not allowed by her. The only place we can get her to sleep outside our arms is inside her boppy which is not really to be used for sleeping. We let her nap in it when we are awake but when we sleep, she sleeps in my arms. Our first week as a family has been amazing. Everyday, I say to Scott, "WE MADE A HUMAN!" She's been teaching us new things everyday and we look forward to a lifetime of love with her.