Monday, August 30, 2010

Reflecting on One Month

As of yesterday, Kaitlyn is one month old. While feeding her early this morning I just stared at her and couldn't believe how beautiful and precious she is, and how much I care about her.

It's hard to believe that a month has gone by already. I'm not sure how to describe this last month, as it has been so full of both difficult and painful things, and wonderful and amazing things.

Where can I start? The first two weeks my body hurt so much that it was difficult to move very much. And then all of the sudden when we hit two weeks I felt so much better. After a long hard pregnancy and a few weeks of recovery, my body is now starting to feel more like my own. Sometimes it's hard to remember that now I can do things like take the garbage out and clean the bathroom, as I'm not an invalid anymore.

My emotions have run wild this last month. I have cried often, felt overwhelmed here and there, and felt like a failure at times. And at other times I have been overwhelmed with joy as I watch my husband play with Kaitlyn, or as she falls asleep in my arms. I have been amazed at how quickly my emotions can go up and down.

Sleep is another challenge, of course. Just a few hours here and there is tough. But it is getting better. Kaitlyn now has a record of sleeping 7 hours straight, but about 5-6 is "normal" right now.

The most difficult part has been everything related to feeding little Kaitlyn. I have been working so hard to be successful with breastfeeding and we have met a lot of obstacles. After three trips to the hospital to meet with a lactation consultant, they cannot figure out what our problem is. I have the milk and she has a great latch, but she is not able to get my milk out. I have talked with several people who are all at a loss as to what the problem is.

So for the last month I have been pumping my milk and then feeding it to Kaitlyn in a bottle, which is a time consuming and emotional process. I try to focus on the fact that she IS getting my milk, the best thing for her. And I try not to focus on how much work it is, or on how long I can keep this up.

To add to our feeding problems, Kaitlyn and I have developed thrush. We took her to her doctor today to get a perscription for it, and I got two perscriptions for me from my doctor yesterday. Hopefully all these pills and ointments will heal us quickly.

The good news though all of our feeding issues, is that Kaitlyn IS eating and gaining weight. Today she weighed in at 10 pounds and 8 ounces!

I am beginning to feel more comfortable taking Kaitlyn places. I know that while staying at home is a lot easier, that I really need to get out of the house and see other people as much as I can. Fortunately there are several mom and baby play groups that Kaitlyn and I can go to. And Paul likes to take us places too, like the park or Walmart.

In spite of all these problems that I can list, I am happy. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and such a sweet daughter. She makes such cute faces and noises. Seeing her grow and learn new things is fun. She is starting to hold her head up more, and now can stare at things for a long time. It's amazing to think about how many more things she has to learn!

Well I finally wrote this post, that I have been putting off for quite awhile. I still don't feel like I have the words to describe this last month, how hard and wonderful it has been. Maybe month 2 will be easier to describe.

Friday, August 27, 2010

4 Weeks!

Yikes! Kaitlyn is 4 weeks old today, and we have had a busy week!

First, Kaitlyn somehow managed to roll over this morning! I put her on her tummy and turned my back on her for a minute. She was very quiet, so I turned around to see what she was doing and she was on her back, waving her arms around, and looking very confused. I was sad that I didn't see her first roll, but here's how she looked just after it:

This week was Kaitlyn's first trip to the park and first ride in her stroller. She slept through the first half of our walk through the park, but then woke up to look at some trees.

Kaitlyn also met three of her great-grandparents this week!

Kaitlyn and I also attended a Mom and Baby Group at Evergreen Hospital this week where we met some other Mom's and little babies. It was so nice to listen to and share with Mom's who are going through similar struggles with newborns.

This week also brought two clogged milk ducts and now possibly thrush. Ouch. Fortunately the clogged ducts went away pretty quickly, but I think Kaitlyn and I may need to go to the doctor to treat this thrush. Hopefully we will feel better soon.

Yeah, this was a busy week. It is nice to feel a little more comfortable taking Kaitlyn places, but it is still exhausting!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

3 Weeks!

Yesterday marked 3 weeks of Kaitlyn's life with us, and we had a busy day. First we went to Kaitlyn's Pediatritian and were happy to find out that she is up to 9 pounds 9 ounces, finally a half pound over her birth weight.

Then the three of us went grocery shopping. When we entered the store Kaitlyn got really still with her eyes wide open, trying to figure out her new surroundings. After a few minutes of overstimulation she slept through the rest of the event.

And lastly, Kaitlyn had her first evening out on the town. We went to the mall! Paul and I like to go to the mall to wander around and people watch - it's a cheap date. It was fun to have Kaitlyn with us this time. It was also my first time to try out my front carrier with her. She was so happy snuggled up against me feeling the movement of me walking. She slept the whole time we walked around the mall, sat for awhile, and then walked some more. We didn't do anything too exciting, but it was a special time for me to be out with my two sweethearts. It was a good day!

Here's some pictures from Week 3:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We Love Grandparents!

We love visits from Kaitlyn's wonderful Grandparents! Kaitlyn loves being held by them, and we look forward to many more visits with them. We are very blessed to have them in our lives.

Grandpa and Grandma Ptolemy

Grandma Bomar

Grandpa Bomar

Saturday, August 14, 2010

2 Weeks!

Kaitlyn is 2 weeks old...and so fun to take pictures of:

1 Week!

Our new family at one week:

Days 3-6

Day 3: Kaitlyn likes to sleep!

Day 4: We think she's pretty cute!

Day 4: She likes to sleep with Daddy!

Day 5: After lots of spitting up, one is happy one is not!

Day 6: She doesn't mind sleeping with Mommy either!

Day 6: All clean after first bath at home!

Day 6: A clean baby sure smells nice!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kaitlyn's Birth Story

Friday morning, July 30th, I was not a happy camper. I was 2 days overdue, and had not slept more than an hour or two the previous 2 nights due to having constant contractions and so much pain. I was scheduled to be induced the next day, so I didn't want to go to my regular Doctor appointment that morning. And then since we were going, I was hoping that for some reason my Doctor would decide that I needed to be admitted to the hospital, so that I would not have to go home from the appointment to suffer through another day and night of contractions before returning to the hospital the next morning.

My appointment was at 10:30 in the morning, and I started with a 20 minute non-stress test to moniter Kaitlyn's heartbeat and my contractions. Then I was moved into a room to see my Doctor. She came into the room as I was getting up on the examining table. And then I felt my water break. At first I wasn't positive what it was, but then it just kept coming and coming, until I had made a huge mess :) I remember just feeling so relieved that I didn't have to go home for another day. We were also very happy that my water broke with my Doctor right there, and that it had not happened at home where we would have to deal with the mess!

Then they wheeled me downstairs to Labor and Delivery and we checked into the hospital! I got into my room at noon and was 5 cm dialated. Paul called both sets of our parents so they could start heading our way. Paul's parents began their 3 hour drive to the hospital. My parents arrived quickly so that my mom could be with us throughout the labor and delivery.

It seemed so unreal that we were finally in the hospital. My nurse asked me what I planned to do for pain, and we answered that we wanted to try to go without pain medication, or at least wait as long as possible to have an epidural. A few minutes later I was telling Paul that maybe I really did want to have an epidural! My contractions had become very painful and I was quite scared about what was all still to come.

As painful and scary as it was, things continued to move quickly. After a few hours I was up to 7 cm, and then it was not long before I was 9. I spent most of the time sitting on a birthing ball rocking back and forth. Paul was standing in front of me and I held onto him for dear life. I kept waiting for my nurse to ask again if I wanted an epidural, but she never did. So I never got one.

I was getting pretty tired, as I was not able to relax at all between contractions. I knew I was close to starting to push, and finally decided to get into the bed. But I was really scared to start pushing! I was laying on my side, legs clamped together, and clinging onto the bedrails. The nurse said, "You know, you do have to open your legs to get this baby out!" I didn't care, I was really scared to push!

Without my consent my body started to push, and I finally agreed to open my legs. I started pushing at 5 pm. I didn't feel like my pushing was making any progress but my nurse and Doctor kept assuring me that I was. It seemed like they were telling me for an hour that they could see the head and it was so close to coming out.

With every contraction I endured and every push I made my nurse and then my Doctor would tell me what a good job I was doing, how strong I was, and how much progress I was making. Despite the pain, sometimes I would find it amusing, knowing that they said this to everyone, no matter how good they were doing. But even though I knew they were saying these things whether they were true or not, their encouragement helped a lot.

Paul also did a great job encouraging me. Many times I told him, "I can't do this anymore." and he would say, "You ARE doing it." I am so glad that he was there to help me.

Finally a head came out, and then a whole body. I'm not quite sure how to describe the feeling. She was born at 6:40 pm. I heard a little cry, and then she was placed on my chest. As my Doctor delievered my placenta, gave me a few stitches, and whatever else she was doing to cause so much pain, I tried to just focus on the face of the little one I was holding.

I held Kaitlyn and nursed her for over an hour before Paul's parents and my Dad came into the room (my mom was already there). They all got to hold her and then watch as my nurse gave her a bath and weighed her. She was 9 pounds, 1 ounce, 20.6 inches long. After measuring her head my nurse said, "That's a big head!"

It was very special to have our parents there to share those moments with us, and they then left about 9:00 pm. Paul walked them down the hall, proudly carrying his new daughter. My nurse then helped me get out bed and into the bathroom, which was not an easy trip. But after I survived getting out of bed and going to the bathroom I felt so good. The pain my body had been in for weeks was gone, and they say you get a rush of feel-good hormones after delivery too. I couldn't believe how great I felt. I was walking around my room, and eating my dinner standing up.

Paul and I spent some time with our daughter and then we attempted to settle down for the night. We put Kaitlyn in her bassinet between us and tried to sleep. After a few minutes Paul whispered, "Are you awake?" I was still wide awake so we talked for awhile longer. Then he fell sleep for several hours. I was wide awake so I figured if I wasn't going to sleep I might as well be holding my daughter.

So I brought little Kaitlyn into bed with me and held her through the night. She felt so wonderful in my arms, as they had been aching to hold her for weeks. As I held her I thought about all the events of the day and how everything had gone even better than we could have planned it. I was so happy that I did not have to be induced, and that my body was able to do what it was made to do on its own. I couldn't believe our luck in how my water broke right when my Doctor came into the room, and it happened in a place where we didn't have to clean it up. I was amazed that everything progressed quickly with no complications. I was blessed that all of our parents were able to come and share the event with us. And I just couldn't believe that I gave birth! And to a 9 pound baby with no epidural! I had done it! There were so many things to be thankful for. As I kept going over them I thought about the Bible verse that says that Mary pondered many things in her heart after Jesus was born, and I felt that was what I was doing as I held Kaitlyn though the night.

Well, that's the story of Kaitlyn's birthday! Thanks for letting me share it with you! I am so thankful and feel so blessed to have such a beautiful little girl!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Here She Is!

Here are some pictures we took today!
Birth story coming soon!

Kaitlyn Ruth - 2 Days Old

Every Part is Perfect!

Our New Family