Friday, January 25, 2008

One Month Old Already!

Here I am- I got a chance to pull away from the new mommy routine and make note of my amazement at how Noah is already 5.5 weeks old- over a month!!! How on earth did that happen so quickly?? I suppose all the days are blending together. Our nighttime routines have gotten smoother- Noah gets up every three to four hours for night feedings, and sleeps in between each feeding. He's been doing that since he was two weeks old. I'm so blessed! I'm told that soon he will forgo one or two night feedings and sleep longer. I love waking up to that precious face-- it makes all the fatigue worthwhile. Fortunately, I nap when he does, during the day. He really is a good baby. He only cries for a reason, which isn't very often. I'm a lucky mom!
The picture collage is from the day Noah came home from the hospital. The picture above it was from this past weekend (5 weeks old).

I want to make sure I make note of milestones Noah reaches. He's beginning to become aware that his hands are, in fact, his. If he is fussy, I can calm him by holding his hand. He's still very expressive with his hands...whenever he begins a feeding he clenches them into fists right beside his cheeks. As he begins to relax, the fists loosen and his arms go limp. It's cute how relaxing nursing is to him! Oh, and speaking of milestones...we took him to the doctor last week, and he weighed in at 11lbs, 4 oz!! He gained 4 pounds in one month! At least I know he's getting enough to eat. A common fear of nursing mothers is that they might not be...since you can't exactly measure what the baby consumes. Anyway, he no longer fits into his newborn outfits. He can only wear 0-3 month clothing now!

At the same doctor's appointment, they tried to take a rectal temp...which ended in him pooping once on the nurse, once on the floor, and three times in my hand haha! Poor kid...he was obviously traumatized. The nurse insisted on changing the table paper before I put his diaper back on, which is why it happened so many times. It was quite the adventure. I think it's in his chart now: no more rectal temps!

Another milestone is that he had his first vacation last Friday! We went to Grandmom and Pop-pop's on Friday, and were only supposed to stay until Sunday, but one thing led to another, and we ended up staying until Thursday!! It was took him in the morning after his 5 AM feedings, so I could sleep a little bit. And we made occasional visits, through the day, to Pop pop's office (on the first floor) to give him a dose of "his medicine" as he calls him. They both love being around Noah- it's so satisfying to me to see that he's so loved by them! I'm glad he gets to grow up around a loving family.

Noah is also becoming more 'vocal'. He used to make no noise outside of crying when he needed to be changed, or when he was hungry. Now he's making grunts and all kids of noises- one of which we've coined his 'alien talk'. It's hard to describe, but he does it when he's stretching or waking up. It's too cute!

All in all, we're starting to establish a routine. Between housework, cooking, my homework, and Keith getting his licenses for work, we're busy. I wish I could get more done in a day, but want to wait until my 6 week checkup (monday) to make sure everything is healing alright. After a day where I try to do things, I notice that I'm still sore. I hope this passes soon! I'm anxious to start exercising, vacumming, and taking the stairs whenever I need to.

Hahahaha! I'm reading back over this post and starting to see that it's just as scattered as I feel right now. I'm sorry-- it's nearly midnight, and I'm tired from the day, but figured I may as well stay up until the midnight feeding, then go to bed. Hopefully my next post will be a bit more organized. :) I just wanted to make sure I got a post in before his second month arrived! My sweet little baby...growing so quickly!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

More Pictures of Noah

The Best Christmas Gift I've Ever Received

Hi Friends and family! It has been two weeks and 3 days since God sent us Noah Joseph; our little treasure. I never would've thought, on the day I last posted, that I would be in labor only two short days later. In conclusion of my pregnancy, I must say it was a magnificent one-- I'm truly blessed! Even though pregnancy is an amazing and fascinating thing, birth and little infants more than triple the wonder!

Now for the details. It was Sunday the 16th when labor started. Keith, my mom, Nick and I were sitting around the living room chatting before settling in for the night, at which point Ezekiel, my dog, started behaving strangely. He jumped up and put his front paws on my lap, and then followed me around and just stared at me. He doesn't do this unless I have food for him. He did this for the rest of the night and followed us up to bed. It was about 3:30 when my contractions started. They were on the mild side at first; just felt like bad menstural cramps. They weren't coming at regular intervals, so I thought they were just Braxton Hicks and would subside soon. Around about 3:45 they had intensified and I couldn't get comfortable in bed. I went downstairs so as not to wake Keith, drank some water, and tried to distract myself with TV. The contractions started to come 5 minutes apart, so I waited 45 minutes (they should be 5 min apart for an hour before you go to the hospital) then went upstairs to my mom's room. I woke her and told her what was going on, and she told me to wake Keith and to get dressed-- that it was time to go to the hospital. I wasn't convinced that it was labor...the contractions weren't intense enough! But I'd rather err on the side of caution, so I called the doctor, who told me to go to the hospital. We got there by 6 AM, at which point they checked my cervix and I was 6cm dilated and 100% effaced-- I was staying and the baby was coming that day!! They got me set up in the delivery room, and I got my epidural as soon as I was able to. Side note: epidurals are WELL worth it!!! The epidural wasn't much pain at all-- more discomfort than anything, and over in a heartbeat. After I got the epi, I was able to sleep and wait for my body to get ready.
Around 12:30 they told me it was time to start pushing. So I pushed.....for 3.5 hours!!! Keith was counting and both he and my mom were holding my legs. The baby had progressed downward but once he hit a certain point, he would not progress any further. They thought maybe the epidural was inhibiting my ability to push, so they turned it down and changed my position...a ton of needless pain...but still the baby wouldn't budge. It was then that my doctor came into the room and said that there was a reason that the baby wasn't coming down, and it would be safest for him if we did a c-section. That was the LAST thing I wanted to hear...I wanted so much to experience childbirth the way it was meant to be! And at my hospital the policy is once you have one c-section, you always have to have c-sections because of the risks posed by VBAC's. I couldn't keep myself from crying...Keith cried with me...the doctor agreed to let me have another half hour to push, and then if no progress was made, we would move to a c-section. I pushed with everything in me for that half hour, and nothing. So my worst nightmare had come true. I had to have a c-section.
They brought the anestesiologist (sp?) back into the room to adjust my epi for the c-section, told Keith to change into scrubs, and shortly after, the doctor rushed in stating that the baby's heart rate was dropping and we had to go in "right now". This panicked poor Keith, who was left in the empty room alone while they wisked me away to get ready for the operation. He thought the situation was serious and they forgot about him! Meanwhile, they were prepping me in the OR-- strapping me down, rigging the little curtain that goes in front of your face...I was living out my biggest fear. I was terrified...the whole idea of being awake during a procedure, and knowing what they were doing behind the curtain was more than I thought my mind could handle! I was shaking uncontrollably-- my arms looked like fish flopping around on dry ground! Next thing I knew, Keith was brought into the room. I was so happy to see him- he held my hand and I told him "you just have to help me breathe; I can't get my breathing under control,". So he breathed with me and held my hand...I don't know what I would've done without him! I was still shaking really badly and I thought my shaking would inhibit the doctor's work, or create some kind of 'oops'- so that only added to my fear. my right hand was held by keith but my left hand was flopping about freely, so I asked the anestesiologist if I could hold his hand. *lol poor guy*...but he said yes and I felt better- maybe I wouldn't botch the surgery after all! The anes. was great. He wasn't telling me what they were doing, but he was telling me what sensations to expect throughout the surgery. Everything felt exactly as he said.
After what seemed like forever (but was actually 5 minutes), I heard the doctor say to Keith "do you want to see the baby being born?" Keith said yes, so they told him to stand up. Later, Keith told me that he saw them pull the baby out, and he was blue-- dark blue. Keith thought something was wrong, and apparently the look on his face gave him away because the nurses immediately reassured him that's how he was supposed to look. The doctor unwrapped the umbilical cord from around the baby's neck- it was wound three times! Then his skin started to fill with color, and he started to cry. The doctor held the baby up over the curtain for me to see. I can't even begin to describe how deeply seeing his little face for the first time affected me! I was awestruck that I was actually seeing the precious little life that my body protected for nine whole months! The tears just flowed, and in an instant, everything about my life changed. I was captivated! I knew Keith was too-- I could hear him over by the nurses, after he cut the cord, watching as they cleaned him off and swaddled him. He was shouting to me, through sobs and laughter "he looks good babe! you should see him!"Keith brought the baby over by my head where I got to study him a little longer. Amazing. He was so beautiful! And a spitting image of a Strenk, I must say. He looked like his mommy on that first day. Even if he grows to look like his daddy, that's fine with me- as long as I had that first day. And that is the story about how Noah Joseph Collier entered the world. It was on December 17th at 5:03 PM. He weighed 7lbs, 9 oz, and was 19.5 inches long.
Yes, Noah was a name that Keith and I had talked about using since before we got pregnant, ironically. :) When we told my dad what the baby's name was, he started to cry. :)
My mom, Nick, my dad, Dawn, and Keith's dad all awaited the news. Keith went out to where they were and just started sobbing- he couldn't talk. They were all waiting for him to say something-anything! He was overjoyed. My dad cried, Keith's dad cried...they all went to meet Noah while I was finishing up in the O.R.
All in all, it was a very scary, very emotional day. But in the end, I'm just thankful that my baby was delivered safely, and that they didn't try to force him out. It could've been so harmful to him! Whenever I get discouraged about having to have another c-section and not being able to deliver vaginally, I just remind myself of the happy, healthy little treasure I have, and it humbles me.
Having Noah around has been amazing! For the first few days all I wanted to do was hold him and look at him! Even getting up at night isn't bad. It feels bad when I first hear his cry, but then when I go to pick him up, and I see his sweet little face, and his eyes are searching for me eagerly, my heart mealts and I'm so thankful I am given the blessing of taking care of him! We're getting used to the routine...the diaper changing, the outfit's coming together. :) Nursing is SO HARD and trying at first, but I'm thankful that I've stuck it out- it's getting easier and less painful. It was best described as "toe-curling pain". That couldn't be further from the truth! I've had tons of help at home from mom- bless her heart! She was here for the past two weeks, cooking and cleaning and helping with Noah at night. It's been such a blessing to have her around! I'm so glad she wants to be involved in his life. Nick was also hanging out for the past couple weeks, and my dad came and went as he could. It was a great Christmas! I remember having such a feeling of contentment as we sat around the tree sipping coffee and opening gifts. I held the greatest gift in my arms, and I was able to share the day with my family. It was perfect!
As for getting things done around the house was my first day "on my own". Keith was at work and mom and Nick left yesterday. Everything I do revolves around Noah, now. In the morning, I wake up, get Noah ready for the day, and nurse him, hoping that he'll be content long enough for me to get dressed. This morning after nursing he sat content in his boppy for an hour while I got myself ready for the day and started a load of laundry. He really is a good baby- only cries for a reason, and is otherwise very content! He's good at night too. The first night, he was up all night. He wouldn't sleep unless I held him, so I guess the better way to say it is that I was up all night. The second night was a bit better, and after that night, I decided keeping him in the bassinett (instead of crib) would be easier. Getting up a lot at night and walking around was getting to be painful for me- I'd wake up really sore the next day. For the most part, he'll be up for a few hours but then sleeps between feedings (of which there are three). I'm hoping we continue with that pattern and he starts to sleep for longer stretches at night.
So this is the beginning!!! I'm LOVING motherhood and I adore my son! Keith is loving fatherhood and is just as in love with him as I am! I look forward to recording all the exciting stages of his life in this blog for you to read, and for us to look back on together, one day.
Amazed. I'm so amazed.