Saturday, August 23, 2008

Video & CANKLES!

I have two treats for you today!

First, a video of Eisley! Since many of you have only seen her asleep and many others have only seen her in emailed pictures and don't even know this child is actually real. So I'm posting a video (pardon my stupid commentary) of Eisley with her eyes open and awake!
Eisley awake


Second, I'm being very brave and posting what I consider to be a show of my "birthing battle wounds": CANKLES. See, for c-sections they pump you full of saline and it takes a week or two to lose the water weight which all falls down to your lower extremities. So I'm posting pictures of my postpartum cankles and what my real ankles look like today - a week later! Prepare for the shocking images.

Viewer discretion is advised:

So there they are! My postpartum cankles! Admit it, you all thought I was exaggerating with the picture of the Marshmallow Man a few posts back... well now, SEE?!

Yes, I actually felt resistance trying to flex my foot back. I actually felt my feet jiggle when I walked. And yes, my ankles actually had rolls. I mean, I'm used to having extra weight on my thighs and butt - but your ankles are supposed to remain thin! It's just the way it goes!

So here, thank goodness, are my ankles today. They've recovered quite nicely. Just excuse my poorly manicured toenails. I couldn't reach them for months so give a girl a break!
Woohoo! Yay for my bony ankles and their victorious return! After 9 months, I had actually forgotten how small they were...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

2 weeks!


Tomorrow marks two weeks since Eisley was brought into the world! I can't believe she's already two weeks old and she even looks different to me. :-( Stop growing Eisley!

Eisley is still a big sleeper, but we've also fallen victim to what my sister tells me is "The Granny Hour". As good as she is 99% of the day, every night around 10-11pm she starts fussing for about 1 to 1.5 hours. We go through the list (feed, change, burp, gas, cold, hot?) but we can't find anything to soothe her so we just wait it out until she falls asleep. But for her to do this only once a day for that little time isn't so bad, I supposed. I'm glad she's not colicky (yet).

I got on the scale a few days ago to see where my postpartum weight loss was at. Pleasantly surprised to see I'd already lost 15 lbs (about half of that was Eisley and her placenta I guess). This morning I got on again to see if I'd made any progress towards that last 5 of pregnancy weight - as I'd gained 20 lbs total at the end there. This time I was shocked... I've lost 30 lbs since giving birth two weeks ago! I had to get off the scale, make sure it was adjusted right, get back on. Yep. 30 lbs. That's more than I had gained! I was hoping breastfeeding might speed up the weight loss, like they say can happen (who are they?) but this exceeded my expectations! Hopefully it will keep coming... or going.

How I lost another 15 lbs in just a few days is beyond me, but I'm not complaining!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Eisley smiles

Even MORE pictures:


Isn't that the sweetest smile?
Eisley is home now. We got home on Monday and have been settling in ever since. Eisley does really well sleeping for long periods of time. Tuesday night she practically slept through the night, we got her up to feed her at 2am, but she didn't really want to eat. She basically slept from 11pm to 7am! Last night she was up for a while, but slept for long periods as well.

She had her first doctor's appointment on Tuesday, and all is well. Hopefully she stays that way. It already makes me sad that she's going to grow up so quickly.

Here's Eisley all ready to go home:

Grandpa holding Eisley, shortly before she goes home:
Three generations, Great Grandma Erwin, Grandma Erickson, and Eisley:
I just can't resist posting all these sweet pictures, so yet another of Eisley sleeping:



And another:


And another!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More Eisley Pictures

As promised!




























Saturday, August 9, 2008

Eisley's Birth Story!

This is a super long and detailed birth story, so consider this your warning. Pictures are at the end!

She's here! Eisley Kathryn made it safe and sound into the world at 5.07pm on August 8, 2008. (What a cool birthdate huh?)She was 6 lbs & 14 ounces and 19.5 inches long, not exactly the "porker" we were expecting!

So, you might want to read the previous two posts here to see what got the ball rolling...

We (after much mental debate on Heather's part)checked into the hospital on Thursday night around 7.30pm to get an induction rolling. I was really flipped out that I was the one making the decision, as my doctor was willing to wait until next week. But due to personal issues, and job scheduling, I was having a lot of anxiety over waiting much longer. It could have meant that Justin wouldn't get much recovery time with the baby and I. After weighing our options and much thought over the health issues (doctor was worried about preeclampsia and the excess amniotic fluid I had) we had decided to bite the bullet and go for it. We also recruited many prayers on my behalf, to help us avoid a csection.

So after checking in they started the drugs to "ripen" my cervix, which would make it easier to dilate, and also cause contractions. They were hoping this would cause her to drop, which would make the labor a lot more successful!

But by 8am, after 3 doses of the cervix meds and no progress (still 1 cm & 50% effaced and no signs of dropping whatsoever) they decided to give me one more dose and see if I made any progress by noon. At this point I was having mild to medium contractions brought on my the cervix ripening drugs, and thinking hard about the possibility of a cesarean.

Well, around 1pm they re-checked me. Absolutely no progress. The doctor also mentioned how my pelvic bone felt slightly different than the average woman's, which could prevent the baby from dropping and fitting through the birth canal. I mentioned to him how I had also broken my tail bone a few years ago, and now it's crooked like a finger. When I'd had those xrays, the doctor had informed me that when I someday gave birth, the birth process would probably break the tail bone back into it's original position. I was never looking forward to this aspect of giving birth, since when I had broken my tail bone the first time it took almost 3 months before I could sit without a donut...

My doctor said this *could* be a contributing factor of her not dropping, and it will also make my recovery from a vaginal birth much longer and painful. But he was willing to give it a little more push, and start pitocin to try and get some stronger contractions in hope of moving little Eisley down the birth canal.

They couldn't break my water because since Eisley hadn't dropped and I had so much excess amniotic fluid, it could be very dangerous. The cord could come spilling out before the baby (since her head wasn't plugging the exit) and that would mean an emergency csection!

He offered for me to go home, wait over the weekend and see if I made any more progress. This was not appealing to me. Eisley was simply NOT going to move. Stubborn little thing...

So, of course, the final option was a cesarean. The dreaded Big C! Suddenly, it wasn't looking all *that* bad to me anymore. I was having serious doubts that she'd make any progress on her own. Drugs like pitocin can increase your risks of having an emergency csection, and I began to accept the inevitable.

I got very emotional as I started to realize my hopes for a vaginal delivery were walking out the door. Of course my doctor was giving me the choice, I could have still pushed for the vaginal delivery. But a gut feeling told me that it wasn't going to happen. I talked and cried a bit with my mom, sister, and of course Eisley's DAD! Everyone was in full support, and I was beginning to see the positives of choosing the csection:

* no episiotomy
* longer stay at hospital (which I'm told I'll be thankful for)
* my hemorrhoids get to keep healing
* those dreaded cervical exams stop
* no long labor and no real major contractions
* not breaking my tailbone
* not risking hurting Eisley by trying to fit her round peg head through my square hole with strong drug induced contractions, so to speak
* knowing she'd be born in hours, rather than waiting out a labor that could take days only to end in csection anyway

So we made the decision, and were scheduled for 5pm! I actually began feeling really good about my decision. I was emotional, but I was also confident that this was a good thing.

So 4.15pm rolled around and I had a fresh face of makeup, so they started to prep me for surgery. !!! Before I knew it I was walking back to the OR to be sliced open while awake... I was beginning to seriously contemplate running my bare behind through the exit doors.

But for some reason, I kept walking. Into the OR, I sat on the operating table and was given a spinal (a really strong, effective epidural like procedure that is given in one quick shot). My wonderful OB held my hand through the spinal, which was a bit scary. Before the anesthesiologist was even done, I could feel my feet turning into heavy, tingling mush. I was then laid on my back and prepped for surgery.

Justin, sporting scrubs and looking very Grey's Anatomy, made his entrance to sit by my head. A screen was placed at my shoulder level so that I couldn't see the butchering of my abdomen, which I was very thankful for! Justin was teary and I was just going into my "dealing with panic" mode by closing my eyes and trying to think I wasn't in an OR about to have a person removed from my body whilst I was awake. Justin later told me I looked very calm. Ha!

At 5.00pm on the dot they made the first incision. Suddenly I was trying to forget every csection episode of Maternity Ward or A Baby Story. I didn't want to think about my stomach being open, and me here awake.

The feeling was indescribable. My body from my chest down was completely numb, but I could feel people touching me. So I literally was feeling them cut me open, play feng shui with my organs, and removing Eisley. But I just couldn't feel the pain.

The doctors and nurses all laughed in shock when they broke my bag. Supposedly it was even more water than they had anticipated (and they already knew it was a lot) and I set off like Old Faithful.

They warned us the moment was coming, but there can be no preparation for that moment when they pull the baby out of you and she starts crying. At 5.07pm, Eisley was born!

The doctor made my day when he said this was absolutely a great descision for her birth. Eisley's cord was wrapped twice around her neck and she was higher than he had realized. They had to use a vacuum to get her out! My baby loved "Hotel Heather" as my mom affectionately called it. I was so glad I didn't sugger long hours of labor just to be told that a csection was the only way.

She was taken to my right where a warming station was waiting and they cleaned her up, checked her vitals, etc. Justin was very teary and happy and emotional. I was in a state of shock. Are you sure that I was really pregnant? Did that baby seriously just come out of me? Meanwhile, I'm hearing how cute she is, about her blonde hair, and how great she looks. She stopped crying rather quickly. The nurses said she was very calm and easy going.

Then came the best part, while laying on an operating table with my reproductive organs being worked on, I got to hold my little girl! They actually let me hold her. I was in awe of her perfect face, and she was moaning daintily and happily. All I could do was look at her little face and think... "Really??"

Unfortunately, Eisley couldn't keep me company in the OR, and she headed to the nursery with her daddy to be given a thorough check and vital stats checked. Once they were out of the room, it became hard to believe again that this was all really happening. I waited and listened to the doctors and nurses chat while feeling lots of pulling and tugging on my body as they sewed me up.

At 5.33pm, I was on my way to the recovery room. Everyone said I did great and the baby was perfect. Suddenly, the c-section seemed like a great idea and I was so glad. It was all over!

I rested in the recovery room for about 30 minutes, it went by fast and they monitored how my body was handling the spinal and morphine and other drugs they'd loaded me up with. I felt great! But I was really anxious to hold my baby again.

My mom, sister, and dad all beat the baby to the room. It was good to see friendly faces. I'd made it out alive. Not more than 10 minutes later, daddy and Eisley joined us. She looked great! Her Apgar score was a 8/9, which is wonderful for Colorado. Nothing else in the world mattered except that precious little baby all of a sudden.

In another 10 minutes, I was holding Eisley as we were pushed through the halls to our post-partum room. Justin's parents, Aunt Katie, Aunt Britta, and my parents all joined us. Eisley was incredibly calm and happy as she was passed around, meeting her family and loved ones.

And so now we're resting. Eisley is teasing us by being a very happy, calm baby. I'm realistic to the fact that this very well might not last. But so far she's happily endured diaper changes, feedings, and being next to other baby's crying - all without a peep. Noises and changes don't bother her in the slightest. We're in awe of what a good baby she is, and enjoying the peace while it lasts.

We think she's a doll and are completely smitten with her. In the end, the csection ended up being awesome. I'm in very little/no pain and discomfort and I'm so happy that my nether-regions are in tact and unharmed. It's bee such a pleasant experience. God has blessed us so much, it's downright embarassing. Words cannot describe the joy we feel in our hearts.

Here's our daughter:




I'll for sure post more ASAP!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Complications...

The possibility of a cesarean is looking more and more... possible. They've given me 4 doses of cervical "ripening" medication, but as of the last time they checked, my cervix is just not budging. Eisley hasn't dropped at ALL, so they can't break my water, because I have so much water if they broke it, the cord could start to come out and prolapse. That would mean an emergency csection to prevent her from suffering any brain damage.

They're going to check at 12pm to see if I've made any more progress. They might start pitocin at that point, in hopes that the stronger contractions (cause I'm already having mild ones) could move her head down just enough to remove the risk of cord prolapse so they could break my water. If after starting the pitocin and letting my contractions get pretty strong, if nothing happens, it's looking like I'm destined for a csection.

Oh well! We'll just have to see how it goes.

As annoying as a csection would be (recovery wise, and major surgery), I can see the benefits. I get to keep my vagina in tact, thats a plus. Only time will tell...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

At the hospital

So in case you've missed the excitement...

At my appointment yesterday my bloodpressure was still higher, they also said my bloodwork from last week came back not great, and the ultrasound showed that Eisley's just getting bigger and bigger. So, in his words, he'd "like to see me not pregnant soon". He was actually surprised that Dr. Watson didn't set a date last week. According to him, if I let this go much longer, they would probably end up having to put me on meds to control high BP and other issues.

So he asked me if I would like to set a date in the next week. He offered to let me go yesterday or next week after the weekend. Because of schedule issues, and after talking it over, Justin and I decided tonight would be a good time to get the ball rolling.

I have so many mixed feelings about this. Eisley hasn't dropped yet (maybe because of excess amniotic fluid, said the doc) and I'm 1cm dilated still, also 50% effaced now. She's showing no signs of budging, and her head is already measuring around 41 weeks!

But being induced and the fact that she hasn't dropped does raise my chances of a csection significantly. It can be done vaginally, but it's more of a 50/50 chance. But here I am at the hospital anyway. Please pray for me (if you read this in time) that I don't end up needing a csection. I'm not scared of one, I just really really want to do this the old fashioned way SOOO bad.

But, what happens happens. You can hear lots of horror stories about inductions, hopefully mine is one of the good ones. Maybe because I'm worried about "the worst" will make it a breeze. Maybe.

So wish me luck! And pray for me. I'll try and be updating this as often as I can throughout this adventure...