Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Vistors, vistors, visitors

Because miss Ruby graced us with her presence in the middle of the night, we were only in the hospital one full day, Thursday. That day, and the days afterward were filled with visitors. I don't have pictures of all of the visitors, but I do have some, so I will post them!
John's sister Jenny was the first to come visit us on Thursday. John and I slept for as long as we could, and Jen came up around noon, so even after waiting for his sheets, he was able to get some sleep. My parents had come back up to the hospital to hang out/help out, which was nice, because John gets a little stir crazy when he has to sit in the same place for long periods of time, so with my parents there, he was able to go home, shower, and get some things done that he felt like needed to be done.
Mel Nash wasted no time coming to visit us either, which we loved. And she brought me the cutest little survival bag for the hospital! Diet Coke, pretzels, a magazine, some binkies and lotion for the miss, it was fantastic! John's mom came up that afternoon and spent most of the rest of the day with us. Two of John's brothers came up, with their wives. Three more of my friends (and one husband) came up to see us. My brother and his fiancé came as soon as they were off of work, and, of course, Kati came to see us as soon as she got off the plane from New Jersey.
We also got a visit from my doctor, who came to talk to me about discharge instructions, and also about my blood pressure. It had been high since I was in his office the day before, and during labor had gotten very dangerously high. While at the hospital the nurses continued to monitor my BP, and while it was slowly coming down, it still wasn't where it should be. So, my doctor gave me instructions to take it easy, and call him if I had any concerns after I went home from the hospital. Except, I would need to call his partner that was on call because it was President's Day weekend and he was going out of town. Ha. That was okay though, I didn't expect anything to go wrong. Thursday night we sent the baby to the nursery so that we could try and get the last little bit of sleep we would be allowed for a while. It was really nice to have her in the nursery, because I slept so well, and didn't worry about her at all, and when she got hungry, they just brought her into me, I fed her, and sent her back to the nursery!
Friday morning my parents came up to the hospital so that John could go home and get the car seat, and also clean up our house a little bit. We definitely weren't prepared for the baby to come when she did, so our house was kind of dirty. John left me at the hospital to make sure all the dishes were out of the sink, and to vacuum our house. Just little things that he decided needed to be done before we got home and had a bunch of people in and out of our house. I ordered lunch from the hospital cafeteria, which, I must say, was really nice while I was in the hospital. Didn't have to worry about food ever because it's included in your stay, so you literally can just order what you want, and they will bring it to your room. Awesome. While J was gone I took a shower, which was super nice, and then got my discharge instructions from my nurse. Started to pack things up, and waited for him to come back with the car seat. Once he did return, we packed up the baby, and had the CNA come in and do the car seat check and we were on our way!
The next couple of days were filled with visitors at our house. We had pretty much all the members of both of our families there, and it emphasized how small our house is. Definitely not made for many people. This picture was taken the day after we came home from the hospital, which also happened to be Valentine's Day. Talk about the two best valentines ever.
We scheduled newborn photos for the Tuesday after she was born, so Monday night I went to Babinski's with my parents, and left the baby at home with John and my MIL to get the miss some new cute things for pictures. (I can't wait to get them back so I can show them off!) When I came home, Millysa was at our house with her kids and her sister. I walked in and Olivia, who has been waiting impatiently for Ruby to arrive was sitting on the couch, holding her. She saw me and said "Emma! I holding your baby! Come in!" It was so cute to see her so excited, and I loved that she invited me to come into my own house. She apparently asks quite often if she can come to our house to see Ruby, and whenever we see her, she wants to hold her. It's so cute. Of course we also had to get a picture of Ruby and Graham next to each other. Graham was born at the end of November, so he is 12 weeks older than the miss. He looks like he's much older than that, but we love his chunky self so much. They will be great friends.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ruby Mae

Miss Ruby Mae arrived on February 12 at 2:44 AM.
Here is how it all went down.
February 10, a Tuesday, I woke up and was bleeding a little bit. To be honest, it totally freaked me out and I immediately called my doctor. He assured me that it was probably just my mucus plug passing, and I just needed to make sure the baby continued to move around. He also told me that I could go to the hospital and see if I was dilating more, but he didn't think it was labor. I ended up just going to work, and just made sure that I could feel her moving around all day.
The next day, Wednesday, I woke up at 2:30 AM and I was having contractions. I got up to go the bathroom, and noticed that my underwear was wet, which was kind of not a surprise, because I was SUPER pregnant, and had a cough, so, my bladder leaked a lot anyway.
I was up for about 2 hours having contractions every 10 minutes or so, but then they dissipated and I was able to go back to sleep. Got up at the normal time, and went to work just like any other day.
I worked until 1:00PM that day, because I had a meeting at 1:30, and then had a doctor's appointment at 4:00. In between my meeting and my doctor's appointment, I stopped to get some lunch, and it is a good thing that I did because little did I know, I would be heading to the hospital right after my doctor's appointment.
Every appointment, the nurse checks my blood pressure. Today, she took it on both arms, and both times it was dangerously high; about 190/105. She had me go into the exam room, and lay on my left side for 10 minutes before she took my blood pressure again. This time it was still elevated, but not extremely high. Dr. Pead came in and checked my cervix. He asked me what I was dilated to the week before, and I told him I was almost a one. He looked and me, and checked again, and proceeded to tell me that I was a three, and sitting in fluid. My water had broken sometime during the day (probably at 2:30 in the morning), and I had been in labor all day. He told me it was time to go to the hospital, and that he would call and tell them I was on my way.
I sent a text message to John, and also to my family, just saying that it was go time. As soon as I got back to my car, my mom called me and asked what exactly was going on. I totally broke down and had a panic attack. I completely lost it, and was scared that this was actually happening. Mom told me to take deep breaths, and asked if I wanted Dad to come to my house so that he and John could give me a blessing. Of course I said yes.
After hanging up with her, I called John who was working up at his parents' house, but heading home. I was still crying, and John just kept telling me that it would be okay, and I just needed to make sure I could get home safely. I got home, and made John take a picture of me for a project I want to do for baby's first year. I changed my clothes and we waited for Mom and Dad. Riley and Britian came over also, so that Dad and Riley could give John a blessing also.
We got to the hospital about 6:40PM and checked in at labor and delivery. They took us into our room and had me change. We got there right before a shift change so we had one nurse start the process, but were quickly passed off to the nurse who was with us through our whole delivery, Des. She was a total sweetheart, and took great care of us. She started me on Pitocin around 7:20PM, and my contractions started to regulate themselves, and get more intense. John was so great, he stayed right by my side the whole time, helped me get on the exercise ball, and stand up when I wanted. He rubbed my feet, let me know when the next contraction was coming, and let me squeeze his hand as hard as I wanted during each contraction.
After about two hours, Des asked me if I wanted her to call the anesthesiologist, because I looked miserable. I kept saying that I didn't want to be a wuss, but by this point, I was ready to give in. Contractions hurt!
Side note: Before any of this happened; probably a half hour into the whole process, we were in our room with Des, and also the charge nurse. The woman next door was screaming her lungs out, like, straight out of movie, screaming. The nurses had shut the door to our room, but we could hear her loud and clear through the wall. Without skipping a beat, the charge nurse turned to me and said, "So have you considered an epidural?" John and I busted out laughing, and I proceeded to tell her that the woman next door had confirmed that decision for me.
Anyway, the anesthesiologist was called, and he was in our room about 10 minutes later. Receiving the epidural wasn't what I expected. He had me sit on the side of the bed and curl up around a pillow, instead of laying down. My contractions kept my mind off the fact that a giant needle was being inserted into my spine. I didn't feel much more than the shock, which is good, because apparently the shock means that the needle is in the right spot.
The epidural changed everything. I felt maybe two contractions after that point, and it was more pressure than it was pain. After that, I didn't feel a thing.
My parents got to the hospital shortly after that. I was only at a four, and it was looking like we were going to be there for at least the next twelve hours. Kati had been planning on taking photos of the delivery since she found out I was pregnant, and of course she was in New Jersey on business when I went into labor. It was Wednesday night, and she wasn't supposed to come home until Friday. It was kind of her worst nightmare come to life, because she had told me over and over again to not go into labor until she was home, and then the cost of changing her flight to Thursday would have cost nearly $1000, so she was a little upset. Luckily, Uncle Steve offered Kate a buddy pass, and she would be home Thursday around 10AM, or so we thought. Buddy passes require you to fly standby, and she didn't make it onto the first flight, so she ended up getting into town around 1PM. I felt bad because I assured Kate that I wouldn't have the baby early, so she would be home in time, but I was so, so wrong.
We just kind of hung out for the next little while, just waiting. I tried to sleep, while John and my Dad successfully slept. My doctor called at about 11:30PM and told the nurse to check my dilation. I was only at a five. More waiting. I watched Hulu and Netflix, played games on my phone, talked to my mom, and just hung out. the nurse checked me again at 1:45AM. In just over two hours, I had gone from a five to a ten! Another nurse came in, just to double check, and sure enough, I was fully dilated. A call was made to my doctor, and he told the nurse to have me push for a couple contractions to see if the baby would start moving down the canal. So that's what we did. John held one of my legs, and the nurse the other, and I started pushing. The nurse was in contact with Dr. Pead, and the baby was moving down, so he headed to the hospital. While we waited, he said to keep having me push. Pushing wasn't what I expected, either. I thought it would be much more uncomfortable. Yes, your legs are being pushed toward your head, while you push your head toward your chest, but it was not painful, or uncomfortable. My Mom, John, and even my nurse, kept telling me how well I was doing. My Mom was so surprised that I did so well, because pretty much everyone who knows me thought that I would be the absolute worst during labor.
Continuing pushing, I got to a point where baby girl's hair could be seen. I felt like I was missing out on everything, because I couldn't see it, so I asked for a mirror. I am so glad that I did! Being able to see everything was so cool in my opinion, not at all gross. I pushed one or two more times before the nurse decided we needed to wait for the doctor; baby girl was crowning. Dr. Peak came in, got his gown on, and was ready to deliver her. You could tell that he was pretty tired, but that is not at all surprising because it was, after all, almost 3 in the morning! He had me push about 2 1/2 times, and told me to stop. Baby's head was out. He immediately grabbed the little blue suction and suctioned out her mouth and nose. He then told me to push again to her shoulders out. I pushed once, and he told me to stop because I was starting to tear. He told me he was going to do an episiotomy, and kind of looked at me as to ask if that was okay. I didn't say anything, because I didn't think there was any option (which there really wasn't!) I pushed once more and she was out! Craziest feeling ever. Couldn't feel any pain, but I felt her move from inside me, and then not be there. It was so insane, I really don't even know how to describe it.
Because of the mirror, not only did I feel her come out, but I watched her come out. Kind of a scary experience because she was totally purple. She had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice, but luckily we have a doctor who knows exactly what he's doing, and his 28 years of experienced showed. The doctor ended up cutting the cord, instead of John, because of it being wrapped around, but then it was immediately onto my chest for skin to skin. I was so dazed, I had no idea what was going on. I just stared at her for a second before I actually put my arms around her, and started loving on her. Skin to skin lasts for an hour, and as much as I loved every second of it, I felt bad for John because he didn't really know how to be involved or what to do.
He actually ended up leaving the room to get my dad, and also because Dr. Pead was pushing on my stomach, delivering the placenta, and getting out of the extra blood out. John doesn't do well with blood, even though you wouldn't have known the whole labor, but the last part was just a little too much for him. After the hour of skin to skin, the nurse took her to be weighed and measured. My Mom asked me what I thought she weighed, and I said, "Oh, about 7 pounds, 7 ounces". WRONG! She only weighed 6 lbs. 2 oz. and was 19.5 inches long. Tiny baby. After being measured, John was finally able to hold her. Sweetest moment to witness. He had already fallen in love with her, and he just stared at her. After he held her for a little while, he let both of my parents hold her. My Dad was pretty much instantly obsessed.

Within a blink of an eye, it was 5:30 AM and we were getting moved to the maternity ward. Mom and Dad headed home, and John and I were going to try and get some sleep. the new nurse and CNA said they would bring in sheets for John's couch/bed, but didn't for over an hour. I felt so bad; I was in the hospital bed, and so worn out that I immediately fell asleep. Woke up just after seven and he was still sitting upright on the couch. Luckily another nurse had come in and paged our nurse, so she finally brought in the sheets and he was able to get some sleep.

The whole first day in the hospital was a total blur. We had lots of visitors, which we were very excited to see. There were nurses, and assistants in and out of the room, checking on me, and checking on Ruby. You'd think that with all the people constantly in your room that the maternity ward rooms would be bigger, like the size of the delivery room (which is HUGE), but no, it's tiny, so it constantly felt crowded in there. Other than all of the visitors, the first day was spent trying to figure out breastfeeding. I've heard some people say that breastfeed is "natural" and "just happens". False. Don't believe this. I had no idea what I was doing, and the baby definitely had no idea what she was supposed to be doing, so it was a total blind leading the blind situation. Luckily we had one nurse who was so helpful, and showed me different positions I could hold the baby, and how to get her to latch. Trying to get the hang of it was so frustrating, and times all I wanted to do was cry because Ruby was screaming, and I didn't know what to do! But, with the help of the nurses, the lactation specialist, and my sister-in-law, I was starting to get the hang of it. (I am super conservative when it comes to my body, and I always have been. Until I had a baby. I'm pretty sure more people than I would have ever imagined have now seen my boobs. Nothing is sacred anymore).

I was expecting to be in a lot of pain once the epidural wore off, because that's all I've ever been told. But, I wasn't in a ton of pain, and I could handle it easily. The nurse kept offering me percoset, but I didn't end up taking any, because with the ibuprofen they were giving me, I felt just fine.