Hi there! :-) Thank you all *so* much for praying for us as we (okay, I) impatiently waited for the arrival of our baby and these past weeks as we've begun to adjust to life with her. (I say begun, because sure enough- just when you think you've "got it" you're in for a surprise... hehe!) She is an absolute joy - I love seeing her Daddy in her looks and seeing her smile, grin, laugh and squeal. She is definitely our little chunky monkey pipsqueak. I don't think she is ever quiet. She squeaks in her sleep, while playing, and makes all kinds of sounds when eating, etc. I think eating and bath time are her favorite things. Oh and yes, play with her in the morning when she is all smiles... she is a royal grump come evening. *wink* She has been given the most lovely things - cozy blankets and quilts, music, a pretty hat, nice clothes, etc. I can't wait to tell her about "her friends" as she grows older. She would love to meet all of you!
I am very grateful for the support Dwight was during labor with her - couldn't have asked for better! It was pretty miserable, but God was gracious and now we have her to enjoy. I think every birth is miraculous - it is a new life! :-)
Mom and I were at the mall shopping on Friday afternoon when I began having contractions, but they stopped later in the evening and I'd had similar feelings before, so I really didn't think much about it, other than to dissolve in tears and pound the pizza dough in frustration as I wondered if I was going to be pregnant forever. I woke up in the middle of the night just feeling funny; there was a strange pressure in my abdomen that would come every three minutes. I couldn't sleep with it, so I got up and walked around a bit in our room. By 1:00am it had turned to definite contractions, still every three minutes, and Dwight was up and wondering why I was awake, etc. :-) We didn't know if I should call the doctor or not yet, so after several hours we woke my mom up, who said to call the doctor. (She was convinced baby was coming soon... not quite.) So hospital visit #1 came and went as we were sent home (I was only dilated to 1cm), and contractions continued coming strong so come late afternoon we went back. By then I was really hurting and tired, but still only dilated to 2cm. (Crazy contractions were off the chart, lasting 1.5-2 minutes and coming about every 5-7 minutes.) Thankfully, they gave me the option of either going back home (um... yeah, right!), or being induced since I was just days away from 42 weeks. I took the induction, as I was scheduled for one on Monday anyways. :-)
The birthing rooms at the hospital were really nice, each having showers/ whirlpools/ birthing balls, etc. So they got the IV going (I had to have an antibiotic for Group B Strep), and broke my water. That felt really weird. I couldn't use the whirlpool because of the meconium that was in the water, but the balls worked. Poor Dwight, it is a good thing he has strong hands, because I gripped them pretty tightly. :-) The nurse was really sweet, when I started getting sick she soaked a washcloth in peppermint oil for me - sheer marvelousness!
At about 10:00pm they had me lay down so my progress could be checked. Still only at 3cm, with intense contractions now coming one right after another. I was pretty much feeling like I was about to lose my mind at this point, so I asked for an epidural. Should of gotten it sooner! ;-D Things happened pretty quickly after that, while I was able to finally rest. I could still feel the contractions, but they were nothing in comparison to earlier - I even fell asleep and was snoring (according to Dwight) before the time came to push! I pushed for an hour, with them doing an episiotomy towards the end because my little girlie's head refused to budge even though she had partially crowned. They did not expect her to be as big as she was. :-) My midwife was quite shocked! It was funny to watch my stomach seemingly deflate as she came out and how it would move when she would push her legs, etc. She was *very* alert right off the bat, looking around. They had all kinds of respiratory nurses there (some concern towards the end, she had the cord loosely wrapped around her neck several times), but thankfully she checked out fine! And yuppers, she is a girl! So her official birth time was 2:00am, on Sunday, September 20th. 25+ hours of active labor is definitely *not* fun, but she is worth it!
My mom was called in so she could meet her little grandbaby, and then she had to leave the following day. I'm so glad Dwight was able to take a week off to be with us! And several ladies from church brought over meals once he went back to work, which was really nice and a huge help to me. Dwight had been so sweet, taking care of me and the house and everything, even though he was exhausted, too.
Recovery has been somewhat difficult at times, with getting mastitis (with a lovely little temp of 103.9), and then several bouts of a psuedo UTI. My doctor thinks that my bladder was just moved a bit when I was pushing, so that will just take a bit of time to heal. But hopefully things will begin to be much better soon. :-) 30 of my 40 (eeks!) pregnancy pounds are already gone - it has been so nice to be able to wear my normal skirts again, I was getting really tired of my options ... a pair of jeans, a pair of black pants, a green dress, a brown dress, several t-shirts, 3 tops, and a jean skirt. Ugh, but at least I had them!
Chloe is doing great. :-) She is now 6 weeks old and is beautiful in her mama's eyes. :-) She now pushes herself (her chest anyways) up with her arms, pushes her backside up with her legs, and has even scooted about a foot in her crib when put down (She was mad, and being the awful mom, I was letting her cry a few minutes before picking her up again. Sigh.). She is getting really close to rolling over, it will be funny when it actually happens! She is still very alert and loves to look at us, the light coming through the blinds, and strangely enough, doorways. (Must be the contrast with the shadows, hehe.) She was 11lbs. 12 oz. at her one month check-up and is just about to grow out of her 3-6 month clothes. I wasn't expecting that! So, yes. I need to go to Target and pick up some onesies that will actually fit her. :-) I can't snap all three snaps with what we currently have. LOL. :-) Thankfully, Walmart had a great sale with cotton baby dresses for only $1. I snatched up a bunch for her. They are really cute! I love them. :-)
Cloth diapering is a lot better than I had imagined it to be. *Grin* Our original intent for doing it was the cost savings, so I was very happy to discover how easy and honestly non-yucky it is! :-) I just need to get some cloth wipes, because I'm getting tired of finding all the linty ones that I'd accidentally thrown into the dirty diaper bag instead of the trash. :-P The Bumgenuis are definitely the way to go at night (I also have a few Haute Pockets, and those are great, too), because you don't have to do the pin while in a sub-conscious state. During the day I've used prefolds with either Dappi plastic covers or a Thirsties duo that I got to try out. Both are just fine. :-) Though on the days that I've been sick, I've cheated and just done tri-folds in the Thirsties cover. Since it hurt to stand, etc., that was MUCH quicker. :-D
Thank you again, dear friends! Your prayers and well wishes have meant so much to us! :-)
Love you all,