Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fun baby pictures

My awesome friend Tamara offered to take some newborn pictures of Alizabeth. It was super fun, and I think they turned out FANTASTIC!
They were all so great, it's hard to choose favorites!


Alizabeth and I stayed at the hospital for a total of 4 days. It is never easy to be away from my family, and this time was no exception. But, it's also kind of nice to have time to rest, and be waited on a bit.

We had some visitors

My feet were HUGE! It took more than a week for them to go back to normal

Brandon brought the kids to visit us every day. It was a bit hard to entertain them in a hospital room. Their visits were pretty chaotic.

The nurses were all wonderful. They helped whenever I needed them to. And thanks to my little one, I ended up needing a bit of help.

Since she is my fourth baby, I figured I know what I'm doing, and shouldn't need any help. Especially with feeding her. But she had other ideas. The first couple of days, Alizabeth nursed without any trouble. But gradually, she started to get angry every time I offered. Each feeding session ended with both of us in tears, and her not getting much to eat. And she started to lose weight. Finally, I asked the nurses for some help. Even with reinforcements, she still refused to latch on, and they told me that I needed to supplement with formula. ick.
Thankfully - I had planned ahead a little bit, and brought my breast pump from home. I pumped and asked the nurse if I could give her that milk instead of the formula. They agreed, which made me happy. So, I spent quite a bit of time pumping so that my baby could have something to eat.
But, the pediatrician was still concerned about the weight she had lost. Even though my doctor said that I was ready to leave on Friday, her doctor wanted to have her stay one more night to make sure she didn't lose any more weight. My husband was pretty disappointed that we weren't coming home, but I guess it's better to make sure that our baby is healthy before leaving.
So, we came home on Saturday. At that point, Alizabeth had gone from 6lbs 3oz to 5lbs 8oz. But, she had only lost 1/2 and ounce between Friday and Saturday, so the doctor was optimistic that she would start gaining again soon. She still wasn't latching on well, so they recommended that we rent a hospital grade, double pump to feed her with. So we came home with that.

And so, for the last week my life has been pretty much focused on feeding the baby. I try to nurse her as much as possible. I finally got a nipple shield, and she will take the breast with it, be still is not willing to breast feed au-natural. Supposedly, using a nipple shield can reduce the milk supply, so I have to continue pumping to keep it up. I haven't been getting much sleep, but I thankfully have a wonderful husband who has taken time off work so I can sleep when the baby is sleeping.
The other kids LOVE their new baby sister and fight over who's turn it is to hold her.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Alizabeth Jayne - March 29th

On March 29th, 2011, we welcomed a new little person into our family. Although I tried - unsuccessfully - to encourage her arrival a little earlier, she made her entrance just as scheduled. (I was a little irritated that I didn't get the day that I wanted, but we survived)

The night before, we took our three other kids to spend the night at a friend's house, and then my husband and I went home to try to sleep. I was surprised that I actually managed to sleep at all. The alarm went off at 4:00am and we showered and headed off to the hospital.
We got checked in, and got ready. A nurse came in and asked a bazillion questions, and then put in an IV to get me hydrated, since I wasn't allowed to have anything to eat or drink. I'm not sure why she stuck it in the side of my arm. It hurt... a lot...
And then, we waited.
For me, the WORST part of the whole c-section process is the waiting... and knowing what is coming next... Somehow, Brandon was able to sleep while we waited. I just tried not to freak out too much.
This is me - ready to have a baby

Daddy - ready to watch

Then, they took us down the hall to the operating room. Brandon had to wait outside until they had everything ready. They had me sit on the table while the anesthesiologist put the spinal in. That was the part that I was really dreading, but it wasn't as bad as I remembered it being. But, before they could do much else, the anesthesiologist looked at my IV and said that it wasn't put in right, and I needed a new one in. Then he started yelling at the nurses because apparently there weren't any IV kits in the OR. He used a rubber glove as a tourniquet and ANGERLY put a new IV in my other hand. OUCH. He mumbled about the IV for the rest of the surgery. Nice.
Once everything was set, they called Brandon in and got started.
A c-section is a really strange thing to experience. I can't see what's going on - thankfully - and I can't really feel much more than tugging and moving on the lower half of my body. At one point, I asked Brandon if they had started. I thought they were still cleaning the area. He told me they were almost done cutting. Wow.
Then, when it's time for the baby to come out, they push REALLY hard on my belly. And pull her out. They held her up so I could see. She was crying and I couldn't help but cry too. (Brandon took VIDEO of her coming out. I'm not going to post it, because it's rather... icky...)
At 8:02am, Alizabeth Jayne had arrived! Brandon went with her while the doctors sewed me up.
She was a tiny little thing - only 6lbs, 3oz

One of the things that I really don't like about the giving birth process - and I don't know if this is just with a c-section or not - is the SHAKING that happens afterwards. As soon as she was out, my whole body started shaking uncontrollably. Like I was really cold. They covered me (at least the part of me that wasn't cut open) with warm blankets, but it didn't really make a difference. I didn't even want to hold the baby, because I was shaking so bad I thought I might drop her. Finally, in the recovery room, they gave me something to help with the shaking. And, since I'm allergic to the morphine that was in my spinal, they gave something for that too. But of course it all made me feel pretty dopey. I don't remember a whole lot of the next few hours. I know that I was able to feed the baby. And they took me upstairs to my room. And our friends Hillari and Keith stopped by to visit. (Thank you!) I must have been pretty drugged up because I really don't remember anything that was said. (Sorry if I said anything too crazy, guys!)

Ready for her first bath after getting her footprints taken

First bath

After the baby and I were situated, Brandon went home to get the kids. He took Ady to her dance class, picked Zander up from school, and then came back to the hospital so that they could meet their new baby sister.

We are so excited to have her in our family!