Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Here's an adorable pic of my nephews, Robert & Connor, on Halloween. Could they be any cuter??
Robert picked out his costume this year - he wanted to be a "scary skeleton". Connor got to wear Robert's hand-me-down Yoda costume (sorry Connor, that's what happens being the younger sibling)! I think Nolan will have to borrow that Yoda costume next year!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 3: First night home with Nolan

I think one of the most difficult experiences of my life occurred the first night we brought home Nolan from the hospital.
I thought I knew how to handle babies pretty well - I've always been around kids and I have spent a LOT of time with my nephews, Robert and Connor. But the first night Francis & I brought home Nolan, I realized how little I knew about handling a newborn and how unprepared we really were.
At the hospital, there were nurses there every moment of the day to help when you're having any troubles. But once you're home - you're all on your own! Oh, dear god, what did we get ourselves into??
Nolan cried non-stop. We changed him, swaddled him, and I tried over and over to breastfeed him the colostrum. But he never seemed satisfied! At the hospital, the nurses kept assuring us these little drops of colostrum were all he needed, and that I was producing enough to satisfy him. But from his poor little cries, it sure did not seem like it! Nolan's cries seemed so desperate...and we had NO IDEA how to help him!
After hours and hours of trying everything to sooth him, we thought: maybe we just have to let him cry himself to sleep. We googled about getting babies to sleep, and read that you should try this technique of letting the baby cry in their crib for 5 minutes, then just touching and talking to him to comfort him...but *not* taking him out of the crib. Then if they continue to cry, go back after 10 minutes to comfort him. If they continue to cry, go back after 15 get the point.
We tried this technique, but he just continued to cry! I kid you not: Nolan cried pretty much continuously the ENTIRE night.
Francis and I looked at each other by around 4am and said: oh god, what have we gotten ourselves into?! We felt so completely INADEQUATE! I cried almost that entire night myself - his cries seemed to rip my heart from my chest.

I can't thank my sister-in-law (Jenn) and her mom (Bev) enough! They came to the rescue the next morning!! I was completely hysterical when they came over - I couldn't get out 2 words without the tears flowing down my cheeks. Luckily they were both well acquainted with hysterical-tired-crazy-new-mom-syndrome! They helped show me some techniques of soothing Nolan and how to help Nolan better latch...but most of all, they helped assure me that everything I was going through was totally normal and I wasnt as crazy as I thought I was :)

Thank god my milk started coming that day. Despite all the difficulty I was having getting Nolan to latch, the little milk that did start coming seemed to satisfy him a bit, and he seemed much less frantic. I KNEW that my poor little man was just starving - all he needed was some milk! The nurses were wrong - the colostrum was NOT enough! My poor little guy was just starving!
At least I know for the future: give the baby some formula if he seems that hungry! Colostrum is not always enough!

So Francis & I made it through Day 3....what will come in these upcoming days?????!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nolan Robert Smith has arrived!!

Our little man is finally here! It literally feels like just a couple months ago that we found out we were pregnant...and now there's a baby in our arms!!
On Tuesday, October 26th, I had my weekly doctor appointment with Dr. Raj. I read that a doctor can do a "cervical scratching", which can help get a full-term mom get labor moving.
Well, I think it worked because the next morning, around 8am, my water broke! I wasn't initially sure if my water broke because, while going pee that morning, it felt like a little extra "gush". I thought: "was that my water breaking?? Or just an extra gush of pee??"
Initially I thought that I was just imagining it, because I was so anxious to have this baby. I almost didn't even call the doctor. Luckily I did, and they set a 9:30am appointment for me.
By 10am, the doctor had confirmed that my water had definitely broken!! They sent me right down to labor & delivery!
I immediately thought: oh my god, I'm having a baby today! But i was wrong - the labor turned out to be a very long process! I was only dilated about 2 cm when they first admitted me (same as the day before, at my check-up appointment). By around 11am or 12pm, I started having contractions. After a few hours of contractions, I asked for my epidural. I then continued having contractions (pain-free contractions!) until around 6am the next day (10/28/10) when I finally reached 10 cm.
At that point, the nurses told me that I should have this baby within 1-2 hours of pushing. I then called my mom (who wanted to be in the room when i delivered), so that she an Francis could help deliver my son!
So I was pushing for around 3+ hours when the nurses said I should try coming off the epidural to possibly get my pushing stronger, as Nolan was having troubles getting past the pelvic wall. So I pushed for another hour without an epidural (where I cried out bloody murder until they gave me something to take off some of the "edge"), but still no progress. What happened to the 1-2 hours of pushing the nurses promised??? I wasn't sure I could continue at this! At this point, I was just crying from exhaustion/frustration....and freaked that they would have to perform a c-section after ALL THOSE HOURS of labor.
They said they could try the suction cup to help get the baby out. After giving me the risks associated with it, I cried for a while in fear of what damage I would do to my baby! I then decided I needed to try the suction cup to help get this baby out, otherwise I didnt know what would happen if we didnt get him moving at this point. He had been stuck in my birth canal for 4 hours!! I didnt have much choice at this point!
Once they got the suction cup clamped to my poor baby's head, he was out within about 5 minutes!
They pulled him out, and put him on my chest. I was so relieved/happy/excited/exhausted....that I just sobbed. He was finally here! Oh my god, he was finally here! Best feeling of my life!

So Nolan Robert Smith arrived on 10/28/10 at 11:35am. He weighed 7lbs 3oz, and 20.5 inches long.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

37 weeks pregnant!!

I am officially full-term! Now this baby needs to make a move!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Maternity Leave...FINALLY!!!

Today marks my first day on maternity leave! God it feels good!

I have been so stressed out trying to get the temp/contractor ready at work. In addition, I have been prepping my manager and director with all the areas that I cover, just in case my temp flakes out halfway through and bails on us (believe me, I have my suspicions!).
I spent several late nights thoroughly documenting how to perform my job, all while things are dramatically changing due to a new system integration at work. Trying to learn the system myself + training someone else on how to use it = UBER FRUSTRATING. Great timing, eh?

So the day has finally come! Now it's time to pamper myself a bit before our little man arrives! (yes, yes, I will complete my to-dos-before-baby-arrives between my pamper sessions :)

Gotta jet - off to complete #1 on my checklist...pedicure! I can't have my feet looking jenky when they're straddled in stirrups during labor!