Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Madelyn's arrival...

The short side of labor and delivery...
~2cm and 50% effaced at Dr appt on Monday, Oct 18.
~"False labor" began about 10am on Thurs, Oct 21.
~"Real contractions" began around 3pm Fri, Oct 22.
~Madelyn arrives at 8:55am on Sat, Oct 23!

And now the long side with all the juicy, literally, details. ;-)
Majority of the day on Thursday I was having braxton hick contractions, much more than previously. Lost LOTS of mucus plug and had some bloody show throughout the day as well. Charles became concerned that this was indeed the real thing and headed home from work early... I was not worried and paid no attention to anything as I assumed it would be awhile yet before anything 'exciting' happened. My mom decided she did not want to risk missing the birth and made plans to head up here this evening. We went to bed, attempting to sleep. Sleep did not come easy purely due to the excitement of "is this it?!"

Mom and Ray arrived early morning on Friday. BH still coming, some even are a bit painful but nothing too intense. We walked the neighborhood, twiddled our thumbs, and around noon Charles and my mom were begging me to go to the hospital to get checked as they were sure I was making progress... We were in contact with my Dr and said to go in if we felt the need to as it's no big deal if I was not further along and was sent back home. I kept telling them we were no where near the real thing yet but decided to give in just for laughs. Insisted that if I was less than 4cm we were going back home, they agreed. At the hospital, I was checked and told that I was still only 2cm but now 65% effaced. Some progress....... We were given the advice to go eat a nice big lunch as if it was false labor, eating would stop or drastically slow contractions. We decided to head to the Cheesecake Factory and boy did I pig out! ;-) After lunch, we walked the mall a bit and headed back home.

Around 3pm, while trying to nap, the contractions started really coming. Each one was intense enough for me to stop what I was doing and concentrate better yet not talk during them. We joked that eating didn't stop labor, it put me full force into it! The only position comfortable was standing and swaying side to side. After two hours of this with each one getting slightly more intense, we headed back to the hospital in hopes of some progress. We went with the same mentality of if less than 4cm, going back home. I was checked and told I was indeed 4cm and we were being admitted until baby made it's arrival! YAY!

Time starts to get a bit fuzzy from here on out... I again found being upright the most comfortable of positions, so I did a lot of walking and swaying. I was 'stuck' at 4cm for a couple of hours and was getting defeated. Sometime around 10pm and finally at 5cm, after spending time in the jacuzzi tub, I caved and got a shot of a short lived narcotic. With this, I was able to doze some in between contractions. When I was checked again, I had made progress! Yay! More swaying and walking was in order... Contractions hurt but were manageable until about 8 or so cm. I received another shot of this in hopes of making it through transition, quickly! No such luck. I again was "stuck" at 9cm for a couple of hours. I was in so much pain with the contractions that nothing helped! The best thing I found was although I was not having back labor, having someone rub/press very firmly on my lower back helped counteract all the pressure/pain I was feeling in front. The last pain relief shot I got did nothing for me except put me to sleep and I would stop breathing thus send alarms off. Charles and my mom became on watch to keep me awake and breathing. Although I had started leaking fluid, it was a high leak and I still had a pocket of water between baby's head and the cervix that was not allowing the head to rest on the cervix and finish dilating it. Baby was still in a -1/0 station. I finally caved and had them break that water pocket just after 8am. Fortunately, the Dr hardly even touched the pocket and we were flooded with water! I was officially declared fully dilated!

The craziness begins! I had pressure and a nurse decided to do some practice pushes with me while the delivery team set up the room. I was told that baby was still pretty high up and would take some time and several good contractions to bring baby down. I immediately took on the mentality that I was indeed going to be pushing for a couple good hours and was exhausted. A couple practice pushes from about 8:15am and boy was I unprepared for the feeling it would bring! The pressure. The burning. Wow. Began wondering if I could back out of this whole thing and just forever keep baby inside me! After a few pushes, the nurse made a comment on baby coming down very nicely and to breathe through some pushes unless I absolutely had the urge to push. They had called my Dr and while he was on his way, he was taking his time as everyone thought they had time to waste. The urge was not going away and even when I tried to just breathe through, my body pushed anyways. About 20 minutes later and a few good pushes behind me, the nurse called for the on call Dr to be on close stand by as it was looking like my Dr would not make it in time. Thankfully he did, just in time!

Pushing became very intense, with certain contractions but when they came, they were strong! I felt this intense amount of pain with lots of "OUCH" statements coming out of my mouth and a few minutes later felt something exit me. I said, "Is it a boy or a girl!?" I got some laughs and was told they don't know, it's just the head! Oh. I was told the next pushing I do will be the body. Now let me just say, that was the weirdest feeling EVER!!!!! Felt like someone was pulling my intestines out. Very weird!! At 8:55am Dr put baby on my tummy while covering baby's bits and teasing us if we wanted to know what we got! The big reveal showed us our Madelyn Grace! Lots of emotions of relief and love and exhaustion and excitement and just amazement of this little beautiful baby girl that was ours, is finally here! I ended up with a 2nd degree tear as baby came down and out rather quickly. Baby had a beautifully shaped head though as she was nice and protected by that darn pocket of water.

We got lots of snuggle time both immediately and after the "golden hour" in between measurements, first bath, etc. all done in room. She is very eager to nurse, almost too much so which interferes with her latch but we're working on it and every feeding gets better and better.

I could not have asked for a better labor or delivery. Every nurse I encountered was nothing but encouraging to my face. I later found out that they were all doubting that I would continue on without an epidural after being in labor for so long with such intense pains. Having my A+ super star of a husband and my amazing mom there with me throughout it all as well I believe contributed to the great experience. I never felt alone, nor never had a shortage of encouragement.

Postpartum recovery has been something else... I've never had stitches before and boy are they annoying! Not the best feeling and still in some pain from tearing. My lower back from the constant pressure my mom and Charles put on my lower back left me bruised and unable to sit as well. No one ever tells you about the recovery and it being just as wearing on you!

My emotions did not become overwhelming until I was sitting in the wheel chair with my daughter in her car seat on my lap as we were leaving the hospital. I had just signed discharge papers declaring that this little baby is mine and we are taking full responsibility for her... Getting in the car and driving off with our baby girl was just too much for me to take. I bawled my eyes out! This is when it really hit me that I was finally a mommy and this was my beautiful baby girl! The hospital legally recognized that we were parents... It was official and we could not be any happier or in love!

I believe that covers everything... Must go nurse my beautiful baby girl and head off to sleepy land while she allows. :-)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Welcome sweet baby!

Meet our beautiful baby girl Madelyn Grace! Born at 8 55am today weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces and 20*5 inches long. Absolutely beautiful!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Universal sign?

As Charles and I sat waiting in the lab last week {I had to drop off my lovely 24 hour urine sample, different story}, we were sitting directly across another couple. She had already had blood work done and he was waiting on his turn. They were obviously together...

As I sat there, my heart ached though. I just had a feeling they were there for infertility related reasons. Nothing was said between them and us yet I felt the need to try to hide my belly. As they were leaving, she made a comment about needing to go make a follow up appointment and I watched as they walked into Dr. Ahlering's {Reproductive Endocrinologist that I actually saw for a short time if you recall} office directly across from the lab we were sitting in.

At that exact moment, I wanted to run to them and tell them our story. I was not just another "fertile myrtle" that gets knocked up the first time trying or heck, on accident. No. I remember the heartache and have a journey behind our miracle baby. It was then that I wish all women and babies born after infertility struggles had like a universal sign... Only a sign that other infertiles would recognize in the hopes of lessening the pain by giving hope that miracles still happen.

I hate the thought that our baby will bring sadness to couples still waiting for their miracle. I hope though that for those that know our story do not find sadness but remain hopeful that indeed miracles happen...

"Safe and Sound" by Matthew West

The perfect song to fit right where we are now in our lives... Well, technically not for a bit longer but beautiful none the less! Couldn't get the video to embed for the music but it's beautiful so I encourage you to google the song and listen. :-)

Can’t believe you’re here now
Tiny dream come true
The answer to a prayer now
I’m so in love with you
Couldn’t wait to meet you
Hope you like your name
I get the funny feeling
Life will never be the same

Safe and sound
You’re here with me now
Like I hoped you’d be
Safe and sound
You’re here with me now
And that’s all I’ll ever need

The world’s a scary place here
But baby it’s alright
I’ll make sure the coast is clear
So you can just sleep tight
But if you’re afraid of monsters
Like everybody is
I’ll be right beside you
Closer than a kiss

Safe and sound
I’m here with you now
And you will always be
Safe and sound
I’m here with you now
And that’s all you’ll ever need

Someday I’m gonna teach you
The reason why we pray
So that heaven’s love may reach you
Every single day
So, baby close your eyes now
And say a prayer with me
Lord, I lay me down to sleep now
But I know I will be

Safe and sound
You’re here with us now
And we will always be
Safe and sound You’re here with us now
And that’s all we’ll ever, all we’ll ever need
You’re all we’ll ever need

Monday, October 18, 2010

What will it be like...

Holding and staring into this new face that I've carried for nine months?

To hold in our arms an answered prayer?

Looking at my husband for the first time as he holds his baby?

The moment we find out baby is a girl or a boy?

Seeing my mom for the first time, when I too am officially a mommy?

Watching the pride beam across my dad's face as he holds his grandchild?

Seeing my oldest brothers' already proud face meet the baby for the first time?

Watching as my manly man's middle brother cradles his first niece/nephew?

Seeing a grin so large on my youngest brothers normally straight face?

Watching my husband introduce his child to his parents?

Falling asleep for the first time with my husband on one side, baby the other?

Going through all the First holidays as a family of three?

Hearing baby cry and knowing that it is us it cries for?

Introducing baby to everyone that has prayed for, cried with, rejoiced with, and encouraged along the way?

Baby, we can't wait to meet you!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Just us.

Everyone tells you from the moment the world knows a new little one will be entering your lives that everything will change. It's a good change, but change none the less. Change that, especially as first time parents, you cannot fully comprehend or really prepare for. Change that once it happens, I have been told, that you cannot imagine your life any differently...

Yes, along the way things are already changing... Various baby items enter the house and remain out in the open as a constant reminder. When shopping, we seem to always end up in the baby section regardless of truly needing anything or not. The growing belly as a constant visual reminder. Ongoing Dr appointments. The way we look at each other, already, has changed as well. The overwhelming love we have for each other and this little being that is half him and half me. My heart is so full of love, it feels like it's going to burst!

I am so excited to meet this little person who we have waited for and loved for so long already yet sad that the time of just Charles and I is coming to an end. Having just each other for the last seven years has been great! We are thoroughly enjoying the little amount of time we have left of being, just us. Yet at the same time, we are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Baby Swann any day now!

We are excited for the "just us" meaning to no longer mean Charles and I but instead, our growing family of three!

I'll leave with a few of our maternity photos courtesy of Neil Birchler Photography-

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cookbooks are HERE!!!

Lost Stork Foundation cookbooks have finally arrived!!!! We collected 263 recipes from 61 families living in 19 different states and 5 countries! Thank you so much to each and every one that contributed!!!

Cookbooks can be purchased directly from myself here in Missouri or my mom in Georgia. The Lost Stork website is being revamped {such an awesome God thing!} and once up and running, they can be purchased via paypal from the website {additional shipping charge}! Cookbooks are $10 either paid for by check {made out to Lost Stork Foundation} or cash!

Here is a sneak peak at the cookbook with tips and tricks and 263 yummy {and many unique} recipes inside! I'm so excited and can't wait to hear what others think of the cookbook!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's October!!!

I absolutely cannot believe it is October already!!!!! Although I must admit that the weather we've been having is amazing! I LOVE fall... :-)

October has started out to be a wonderful month as the Lost Stork Foundation cookbooks for the fundraiser arrived!!!! We will hopefully have our new website up and running in the next couple of weeks and will update when that happens! :-)

October also means we are so. very. close. to meeting baby! After all these weeks and months, I can't believe baby will be here so soon! We are so excited to finally meet baby even though it seems like it's still so far off but yet it's oh so close!

This morning we had our follow up growth ultrasound check to see how baby's measuring up per the specialist ultrasound machine... Baby did not let us down one bit in hitting par for the course in staying bigger than expected!

Over all, baby is measuring in at 38 ish weeks with a weight guess of 7lb 11oz! {I'm 35w 6d today} Heart looked fantastic and beating away at 141 bpm!

I'm officially a "fingertip" dilated after being told Doc had to go "around" baby's head to find my cervix... Ouch. That's all I can say! I of course googled and read that having a posterior cervix at this stage is very normal and it will move forward as labor progresses. Baby's head is ultra low and ready to go so that's good. :-)

And here is our chipmunk {I do believe this will be our new nickname for baby}. Look at those CHEEKS!!!!!!! :-)

35w 6d u/s baby at 7lb11oz