Tuesday, June 29, 2010

She's Here!

Gabriella Grace
Monday, June 21, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
8 pounds 10 ounces, 21 inches

I was scheduled for an induction for Sunday night at 6 p.m. Adam and I decided to go out for a last big meal before baby so we made reservations for one of our favorite restaurants, Ruths Chris. At the last minute I decided to forgo our original plans and we just went to CPK instead (I was too nervous to sit around at a nice steakhouse before lol). We checked in at the hospital and they began cervadil at 6 p.m., but not before giving me the most horrific internal exam ever. Seriously, the lady was all up in me to her elbow it felt like.

I did 12 hours of the cervadil to "ripen things up" so by 6 a.m. the next morning I was hopeful that I would be like oh 9 centimeters and ready to go (kidding!). It didn't do much besides soften things up a little, and I was still 1 cm, so they decided to let me shower and then go ahead with the pitocin. That started around 9 a.m.-ish and I was still waiting to really feel contractions. On the monitor I was contracting all over the place but I was generally pretty comfortable and not feeling much. I got a tiny bit crampy towards the end with the cervadil, but really nothing notable. After about an hour I was able to say I could feel contractions, but it was mostly like menstrual cramp pain (but I've had waaaaay worse period cramps!). They also went ahead and broke my water then. It was such a strange feeling - warm gushing that kept coming and coming! And with each contraction, I would feel another little mini gush of water. Yummy. The anesthesiologist was around and they offered me the epidural at that point. I honestly didn't feel like I needed it yet at all, but I was worried that labor pain would get out of control crazy fast and he wouldn't be available when I really needed it. I planned all along to get the epi anyways, so I just figured I'd go ahead with it now. I sort of regret not waiting a bit longer, but ah well, what are ya gonna do?

The epi was pretty terrifying. I'm not one who's afraid of needles (hello, I'm so used to them) so I wasn't worried about it. But holy crap was that a process to get it in. I mean when the nurse says "OK hun, now you're going to feel a very sharp nerve pain at some point, and make sure you push against the needle, and oh you can be paralyzed if you breathe the wrong way..." during the damn thing, it sort of gets to you. I mean maaaybe that wasn't verbatim what was said, but still... Hubby held my hand through it and I just focused on his eyes through the pain. He actually got really teary, and later on when I looked at the notes he was keeping for me (what time everything was happening at, reactions, etc.) he wrote: "10:30 - epidural's in! Adam cried because Lexi was so brave and strong." Ahhh I could cry at how sweet that was and how good that made me feel.

(love this pic of Adam and my 3 chins LOL)

I got really itchy after the epi so they gave me some benadryl, which knocked me out. I can't remember when I slept so well. After a couple hours I was at 2 cm, so I was progressing, but verrry slowly. Around 3:30, I was 3 cm, but baby girl was just not coming down, and she was sunny side up. They kept moving me from one side to another every hour trying to get her to move. My dr. said we'd give it a couple hours but we may need to talk c-section. I felt disappointed even thinking about that, but remained adamant that I could do it vaginally still. I pretty much slept throughout the day. 6 p.m. brought no more progress, and by 7:30 I had actually spiked a fever and they were worried that it could be a sign of infection. I was still only 3.5 cm dilated and she hadn't moved down any lower. As soon as they said that a possible infection could indicate problems for baby I agreed that a c-section was now the right move.

As they were prepping me in the operating room I began to panic and had this strong urge to run and get the hell out of there. Unfortunately my legs were numb from the epi so there was no getting out of there! I just had this feeling of "what have I gotten myself into!?" A little late to turn back at that point! Before I realized what was happening they had already started and Adam and my mom were finally in there with me. I don't remember much besides thinking the doctors and nurses in there had a very casual chatty vibe and I didn't appreciate their cavalier humor whilst lying there with a gaping hole in my abdomen. Oh and I also heard my doctor say "honey this is not fair, you have like NO fat here" and I then questioned if she had cut into the right belly. I'm confident I'm comprised of a good amount of lard.

After a few moments, and me accusing the anesthesiologist of not giving me enough meds since I could swear I felt everything (I felt nothing), I heard a cry. The sweetest, most helpless, girly little cry. She was out! Her cry was so amazing, it was the most beautiful sound I had ever ever heard. Adam was bawling, saying how beautiful and amazing she was. They lifted her up to show me over the curtain thingy and I saw my precious little perfect baby girl (albeit a little blue) crying. I felt such emotion and relief that she was out, and she was real (seriously). I had a baby! I heard them say 8-9 on her APGARs, which is great, and then they brought her over to me. I was so groggy from all the drugs in my system my eyes were not focusing right. They put her right up to me and I just remember how warm and soft her beautiful little face (now pinked up) felt. She was so perfect! I wanted them to just leave her there with me, I didn't care if they sewed me back up or anything, I just wanted to hold her! (They did glue me back together though. Didn't want anyone to worry there.) My beautiful Gabriella was born at 8:00 p.m. exactly on June 21, 2010,  weighing 8 lbs. 10 ounces, and 21 inches long.

Recovery's been interesting. I'm seriously down 29 lbs (but still have a bit of a ways to go- damn those brownies). I was up and walking by 5 am the next morning, and really haven't had the tons of bleeding I was expecting. The incision still hurts on one side now, a week later, but it's getting better. I'd do it a million times over for my wonderful baby girl. Breastfeeding was a little tough in the beginning, but we've got it down now perfectly. She had trouble latching the first couple times, but I was determined to make it work, and she got it after a while. There are still some times where she refuses one boob, but I tell her it's not nice to play favorites, and she will take it the next time ;-) I haven't had to give her a bottle yet thankfully, so I'm really hoping it continues to go well. The one thing I really do miss is sleep... it's hard to come by! We love her so very much and feel so blessed that she's finally here and healthy and wonderful.

Our little lady at 0 months old!

Oh and I have to tell the story of how we finally named her! She did remain nameless until the morning we left from the hospital (Thursday) because I was so hesitant to decide. We chose Gabriella Grace because when I was in recovery Adam came and told me how beautiful and amazing she was doing, and that he really wants to name her Gabriella. He kept saying, "She's our little Gabriella, that's her name! When I first looked at her I knew that that's who she is!"

So of course with that sweet moment I said...


Haha I know, I know. I loved the name but wanted to make sure it was just right. Remember, I'm not the most decisive person ever, ya know. But during the next few days when the name discussion came up, I could tell that that's what Adam really loved, and the sweet way he just "knew" that it was the right name for her made me feel like it was right. Now I can't imagine having gone with a different name.

Now if you'll excuse me, I miss my baby girl and must go in for a snuggle. How will I ever get anything done again??

Final Belly Pics

And here I present you with the final belly pictures... 39 Weeks and 4 days, just before leaving to be induced at the hospital. I'm a major blog-slacker lately because der I have a newborn in the house! Birth story is coming as soon as my fingers can click it away on the keyboard (I have a *little* time now with MIL watching her). 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

She's coming soon!

Like very. At my dr.'s appt on Thursday I was finally 1 cm dilated and my cervix was thinning out nicely. My dr. wanted to induce me next week, so basically it was "pick a day, you're going to be delivering the following morning!"

Well, knowing my stupid thing with numbers, I decided to be induced on Monday night (21st) for a Tuesday the 22nd delivery. The hospital could not accommodate this whatsoever (I guess a bunch of other pregnant broads had the same plan already) so they put me down for a Sunday night (ummm TONIGHT) induction with a Monday likely delivery.

Of course I freak out. My dr. ordered an u/s for me on Friday and she's measuring about 9 lbs, which is why they want to get her out already. She doesn't think it's looking too good for a vaginal delivery because of my size (I guess I'm not the walrus I think I am). But this is my best chance for trying, and she really feels it's best to get baby out ASAP.

All weekend I've been walking around like a crazed woman. I've taken stairs two at a time. I've eaten the spiciest foods I can get my hands on. I rubbed my nipples raw (bet you didn't know that was supposed to do something). I gave her a pep talk, and at one point begged her to just come out already. I got a pedicure and had the lady massage my ankles extensively. I even resorted to (gasp) sex with my husband. Nothing. If this baby is coming, she's coming on her terms, or ugh, the hospital's terms. I really hate the lack of control I have here. I suppose this is my first wake-up call for becoming a mommy. It's time I learn to relinquish control, because I'm fairly certain it's about to go right out the window anyway.

So, the bags are packed, the house is cleaned, and tonight at 6 p.m., it looks like we're checking in to the Ritz Carlton hospital to get this show on the road. I seriously cannot believe the time is coming for me to meet my little princess.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

39 Weeks

It's come to this, 39 weeks! Girlfriend is so not coming early... but that's ok, she can stay in as long as she wants (but no later than the 30th, I can't handle going into another month) ;-)
Sorry for my tired, beat-up looking face. DH just took me for my evening swim, the highlight of my day. Feeling weightless in the pool = amazingness. I'm hoping I don't have too many (if any) of these weekly bump pics to take left! I've been getting a little bit of cramping periodically, but nothing really contraction-y, if that makes sense. I have my weekly appointment tomorrow to see if any progress has been made. Fingers are crossed!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ta da!: The Nursery

OK so it's still missing a key element or two (I am in love with these certain wall letters but duh can't order them yet without having her name set). And I sort of suck at photography, but this should do! I wanted a beachy shabby chic vibe. I love being in her room and imagining playing with her or rocking her to sleep. I just really love it. :-)

A really sweet friend made her a little tutu and put it on the mouse (above the bookcase). I really need more books to fill up the shelves, but for now, they'll collect little tchotchkes :-)

It took me the longest time to find something to put over her dresser. I really wanted this great painting but it was over $200, and these little wall flowers were $20 so...

I loved this little picket fence box and decided to use it as her diaper caddy. The wooden star was also part of the loot I got from JoAnn's months ago that set us off on the beachy theme.

A view inside one of her dresser drawers...

The glider corner... we found this glider at a steal from Costco! It's so ridiculously comfy and I can't wait to just lay back in it and hold her.

On the left is a really cute Noah's ark piggy bank from MIL, center is the picture frame I hand-painted for her at Color Me Mine, and on the right is a little musical thing that goes on the wall that I had when I was a baby. I love that bunny. And yep, the paci says "Whine Connoisseur."

Please note the "This Little Piggy Went to Prada" book. LOVE. And the 50 States book is totally more for me than her. I'm a nerd and like learning about the states and stuff. Did you know our state flower is the poppy?!

The view from the little hallway to her bathroom. I'm really debating getting blackout liners for the curtains, but our childbirth instructor said it's better to have baby nap during the day with lights on so she learns the difference between day and night (thus hopefully leading to a baby who sleeps through the night??). I think the room could use a little something on the wall to the left of the window. I'd like to hang an itty bitty white frilly dress...

Here's the pillow I made her (all sewn by hand because I'm too much of a dummy to figure out how to use the sewing machine DH's grandma gave me!)

A partial view of her closet... I think she needs more clothes :-P

So folks, there ya have it! Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour of her space. I can't wait to put her in it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The List

We've been debating and debating it. I've been agonizing over it. This decision is huge, of course. Bigger than paint color, or crib design, or even shoes. Her name! We sort of finally have a list of contenders that we're trying to decide from. The problem is I have something to say about everything (natch). I think what we're going to try to do is pretend baby's name is one of these every day (so holy crap, if I keep adding names to the list I really will go into July). I think since we're so late in the game, we're really not going to make a final final decision until she's born and we get a peep at her. That way we'll know if she's really a ________ or a ____. In no particular order (and with SSA's 2009 ranking in parenthesis):

1. Charlotte (68)- I love this name because of how classic, sophisticated and lovely it looks/sounds to me. My name is Alexandra and I feel like it's sort of in the same style - regal and superior (lol). I think the nickname Charlie is really cute for a girl. There's also the nickname Lottie, which is cute too. Problems? Well, I guess it's kind of long (9 letters, like my name), though it's only two syllables. I don't want her to be called "Char". And is it too much of a Sex and the City throwback?

2. Lila (168)- I loved this name since I was in high school. I think it's very sweet, and I sort of like that it's not super-long. I'm not really a fan of "Delilah" which, like Rachel Greene I think sounds like a biblical whore. Things I'm not too crazy about? I wouldn't want her name to be shortened to "Lye" or "Lie" which people always tend to do. Lying is a bad thing, no? There aren't really any nicknames for this name. But I do like names that end in an A (have you discovered I'm odd yet?).

3. Emilia (400) - I just love the nickname Emmy but don't know if that's really a name. I mean it sounds so sweet and adorable to me now, but is it really a name a girl can be an adult in? I know there's the actress Emmy Rossum, who is just great, but duh, she's an actress. Can my daughter (who undoubtedly will be more brilliant than the aforementioned Emmy) be an astronaut/architect/archaeologist with that name? And really she could only be Emmy if we go with Emilia, and in that case, people would be constantly misspelling her name. And to pick a name just so I can have the nickname that goes with it - silly, right? Shouldn't I just name her Emmy in the first place? Again, this brings us back to the validity of the name itself...

4. Gianna (76)- I think this name is beautiful, but what draws me most to it is actually something quite meaningful. During my name hunt, I kept thinking about how I wanted something that really meant something to me. Perhaps my most defining/momentous event in life was cancer. My oncologist's name was/is John, and I love that I could name my baby girl after him (the feminine form of John - Gianna). He really is such an incredible man and I owe so much to him (he didn't just treat my disease, he gave me hope when I really couldn't find any elsewhere). Problems? I see that it's rising like crazy in popularity, even being in the top 10 in some states. I have a distinct fear of my daughter having to go by her name and last initial in school because there's some other clown with the same name. Not that I actually personally know any Gianna's, but there are a couple babies named this out in the blogosphere - undoubtedly adorable little girls, but I don't want to set her up for being one of many. And yes, I realize I am starting to sound nuts if I'm referring to "knowing" babies just from reading blogs.

5. Mia (10)- Speaking of popular like crazy names, we have Mia. Adam absolutely loves this name, which is why it's on the list. I can't help but smile saying it, because yes, it's totally presh. But it's seriously seriously popular. Adam doesn't really see a problem with this (duh, his name's Adam). I really don't want to be seen as unimaginative/thoughtless when it comes to naming her. I'd hate for her to resent me and think I didn't put enough time and thought into it! I mean a name can sound perfect and great now, when you don't hear it all the time, but when everyone and their cousin's (not mother) named it 10 years from now, will it really sound as nice? Or will it turn vanilla? It's also really short, which scares me. Who knows why?

6. Mila (464)- It's an offshoot from Mia - not nearly as popular and yet still packs an adorable punch. I love love that it's a bit exotic-sounding. I really like names that sound like they come from somewhere (like me!). I don't mind so much the actress Mila Kunis, but a season ago on Project Runway there was a Mila and ugh she's kind of vomitocious IMO. But it would be odd to let a stranger influence me completely on a name now, wouldn't it?

7. Gabriella (33)- This one's in the same vain as the Charlottes - classic and dainty sounding. I picture a sweet little girl with pigtails and a little summer dress and little white sandals walking while holding my hand. Odd that I get this image just with a name, but it's there. Problems? It may be a bit rhyme-y with our last name (I'm so not sharing that one on here, need I refer you back to my list of phobias in life). And it's also becoming super popular.

8. Adriana (125)- Adam loved this one and I think it's good for a couple reasons. 1. It's Romanian and I like that (guess what I am 75% of) and 2. it's also in the same class as the Charlottes and Gabriellas. It kind of also reminds me of a model (Lima perhaps?) Probs? Well do you spell it with one N or two? People would always get it wrong regardless of which way we would go. And what's the nickname for this one? Dree? Addie? I think Addie is adorable, but I don't think it's quite the nickname for Adriana (two completely different A sounds).

9. Arianna (52) - Adam came up with this one and it keeps making an appearance on the list even though I'm just not THAT crazy about it. I do like that it starts with an A, because both Adam and Alexandra do, so we'd be a family of A's. I have these really cute monogrammed soaps that I could put in her bathroom then! ... Tell me I did not just consider naming my child because of soap. Oh, and again is it with the one N or two? Ari as a nickname? Is it Ah-ree-ah-na or Airy-ah-na? Too many questions.

10. Liliana (120)- Wow these names are starting to run together aren't they? Lily is such an adorable nickname I think. But my feelings for this one are just lukewarm.

11. Fiona (313)- Yup, as in Apple. But has she really done anything in the last 12 years? I think it's super cute and a bit different, which I like. But oh crap, there's that movie about the green ogres and there's a princess Fiona in that one. Would that lead to teasing? I mean the last movie in the quadlogy (is that a word?!) just came out, so do things that happen in your birth year really follow you throughout life? Hubby isn't super crazy about this one either, so if I'm hell-bent on it, I'd have to do some serious convincing (which I'm sure I could do, IF I could decide on what I wanted).

12. Cleo (not ranked since 1959 - how's that for original!)- OK Adam hates this one and refuses completely. He references the old psychic lady, Miss Cleo (I totally forgot about her). I think it's adorable. It would make a really great name for a cat...

13. Shit I know there were a couple more on the list, but I can't find the damn little notepad I wrote them on anywhere. Great, now I'm panicking over that. I guess I should think of it as "if I can't remember them off the top of my head, it's probably because they're not the right names." OK.

So, comments. I don't know how I feel about getting negative feedback on these. You may look like an asshole if you say something bad about the name that I we ultimately go with. Then on the other hand you may be my hero. So say what you will. And of course, I'm totally open to adding more to the list, as I can assure you I invariably will. And yes, it is 4 a.m. I woke up 3 times to pee and now I can't sleep.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

38 Weeks

How far along?: 38 Weeks
Total weight gain: A whopping 40. So sue me. I'm so SO swollen though that I'm convinced it's a ton of water weight. 
How big is baby?: A watermelon now! i.e. big enough to be born :-)
Maternity clothes?: Honestly, I have nothing to wear. All my shirts are just too short. It's too hot to wear jeans. I scare people in shorts. I feel too dressy wearing maxi dresses to work (I work in a pretty casual environment). Can I just walk around in my underwear? kthanx.
Stretch marks?: Yup! Go ahead and laugh, but if you do, you'll be cursed with the same misfortune. I mean they're not terrible, but there are some, and they've creeped up just in the last couple weeks. My belly is so huge and tight! Ah well... They make hot one-pieces, right? Waaaaah!
Sleep?: I'm sleeping quite well so far this week. Still waking up just once a night to pee. Again, I must sing praises for the Snoogle. DH wants to steal it frome me.
Best moment this week?: Making her little pillow. It made me so happy to make something for her. Also, we got a ton of cleaning/organizing done, so I feel much more prepared! 
Movement?: It's slowed a bit, but she will still stick out a knee or butt here and there. 
Food cravings?: Not really craving much, just thirsty all the time. 
Gender? Girly
Labor signs?: My 38 week appointment concludes - still completely closed, high and thick. She ain't coming anytime too soon I feel...
Belly button in or out?: Out. 
What I miss: My skinny feet. These puppies are so swollen the skin hurts! I also have a strong urge to wear denim cutoffs and a tank top.
What I'm looking forward to: Meeting the little princess now, of course. 
Milestone: Being 38 weeks pregnant is enough, no?

Friday's my last day of work, woot! I'm ready to be done, I can't handle any more traffic, and really I just want to be at home so I can clorox wipe the baseboards daily. Plus I need to do more little craft-y projects, they're just so fun! But as a departure, can we discuss underboob sweat? Ew man! I've never had such sweaty boobs - could be that they're monstrous now... I can seriously hide things under them. Really.  They can hold the remote control. Have I said too much?

Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm always fascinated by those 100 in 365 or 95 in 1095 or however many in however many else lists people have. I absolutely love making lists. Hubby might use the term "obsessed", because I carry around a tiny little notebook in my purse and will whip it out regularly at restaurants/bars/bar mitzvahs to make little to-do lists. I love crossing things off. I love hi-lighting. Sometimes, when I make to-do lists, I'll actually put down something I've already done so I can cross it off and make it look like my list is already being implemented nicely. Ugh I'm so weird...

Anyway, I'd love to make a little list of things I'd love to do/experience/whatever and set a little goal for myself. Oooh and I can put down have a baby on it! :-) See, cheating already. Any ideas of how many things in how much time I should try to take a stab at?


Ha, not so much! I had a dr. appt. Wednesday and apparently I'm closed and thick and long and whatever other adjective one might want to use to describe the opposite of going into labor anytime soon. Which is cool, whatev - I still have some things to do. I'm feeling rather crafty again, so I want to make a little pillow for the glider, and change out the bumper ties from the bedding I got. I'm going to take a stab at this...

Oh and only one more week of work and then I'm free! I feel like a kid again that's about to go on summer break... then again, I'm fully aware that it's not going to be a vacation by any means. I still look forward to being with my precious baby girl all summer long though!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

37 Weeks!

Holy cow I am full term! This whole time I've just been hoping and praying that I'll reach June safely with this pregnancy and here it is! Baby girl, you can come out now. Haha- well, you're totally welcome to hang out for a few more weeks (like 3, tops :-P) but daddy and I are just so excited to meet you! I'll be honest, as much as I've been complaining about pain and swelling and stretch marks, I'm sort of going to miss the little bond we have while you're in my belly. I mean people don't get our inside jokes - they have no idea just how funny you are! I can't wait to shower you with love and kisses and I hope hope hope with all my heart that I can be a good enough mommy for you. I will try my hardest to give you everything you need and teach you everything I know (and if I don't know something, I promise to either a. make it up, or better yet b. look it up for you).

I'm still going a little nutso with wanting to make sure the house is perfectly spotless and ready for her, but hey, that's normal, right?

So we have the carseat in place now, and the hospital bag is nearly packed, and most of her clothes are washed and ironed (do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to iron an itty bitty dress with a standard sized iron?! They need to make itty bitty irons, en serio). Blankets are folded and put away, diapers and ointments and other accoutrements are all set up, ready to be used. The only thing that's not ready is me - holy shit I need to give birth (will it hurt?! will I poop?! will it hurt?! when will it happen?! fuck, it's going to hurt!!), and oh yes, her name's missing. But I mean those things are small right? Did I mention her socks are nicely put away with little dividers in her dresser drawer?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Meet Rooster

Yes, that's what his name is! I got a new car last weekend, which was a major check off my to-do list for baby. I absolutely love it! It has the highest safety ratings, yet it's still zippy, AND it has a bluetooth thingy so I can hear people on the car's sound system when they call and I can yell back and have a conversation hands-free! I say yell because I haven't quite figured out where the mic is lol.

Is it odd that I like to name my cars? Not as odd as the size of my ankles! Seriously, they're so huge, I kind of like it in a sick way. It's like living in a fat suit.