Sunday, March 27, 2011

Declan is 2 weeks old!

At his 2 week appointment, Declan weighed 7 lb 13 oz, and he was 21 inches.

Declan's second week of life was full of lots of time with his momma and daddy and lots of firsts!

We spent a lot of time snuggling!

We read our first book!

We had our first walk in the stroller!

We had our first bath!

PS: the little fish on his belly keeps him warm while we bathe him. It's a lifesaver - he quits crying as soon as we dip it in the warm water and put it on him. It's from Target, if you're interested!!

We went to Aunt Gen's birthday party!

It is so hard to believe that my baby boy is 2 weeks old already! I can't even express how quickly time flies when you have a newborn. I feel like I just had him. I'll probably still be saying that when he's 18 years old! But I can't even begin to think about him being 18 years old...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Declan is 1 week old!

On his first day of life, Declan did so well. By the time they brought him to me from the nursery, he was acting like a full term baby. Lots of the nurses asked me, "are you sure they didn't miscalculate the dates?" But they didn't - we are absolutely positive he was 36 weeks! He's just my little overachiever!

One of my great fears through the pregnancy was that I wouldn't be able to breastfeed. I was so relieved that he is a natural! He latched on immediately and perfectly, ate for long periods of time, and stayed on a pretty good schedule!

We were so excited (and overwhelmed!) to have a lot of visitors at the hospital the day after Declan was born - somewhere around 30 visitors!!!
Some of the people that came to visit:
{Aunt Courtney}

{Susan and Dave}

{My friend from school, Rachael}

{Uncle Mike}

We stayed 2 nights at the hospital, which was wonderful. The nurses were so great, and I was a little sad to be leaving the hospital!

{Leaving the hospital - we were only a little tired!!}

When we left the hospital, Declan weighed 6 lb, 13 oz.

He was starting to look a little orange, so the pediatrician checked his bilirubin - it was 9. If it had been 13, they would have kept him for the night and put the lights on him.

When we got home, the dogs were so excited to see us. We have a video of their introduction to Declan, and it's pretty funny. Surprisingly, they are doing great with him!

At home, we did a lot of sleeping any time we could. And a lot of learning to be parents.

Our first outing was on Thursday, when we went to our photographer, Lisa Mac's studio. She did such a great job, and I can't wait to see more!

We celebrated our favorite holiday - St. Patrick's Day!

We sat outside a lot, because it was beautiful, and the sun helped lower his bilirubin.

Unfortunately, the sun didn't help enough, though. By the time we went to see the pediatrician on Friday, Declan was a carrot. They checked his bilirubin - it was 19!!! We weren't too happy about that!

So the doctor had some bili-lights sent to our house, and our little boy had to be hooked up to lights 22 out of 24 hours a day for 3 days!

This was so hard for me, because we couldn't walk around with him, it was more difficult to hold him, and breastfeeding was a little more challenging with all of those cords and wires! We were also so worried that he was going to have to go back to the hospital if the lights didn't work!

So that was how we spent his 1 week birthday - hooked up to bili-lights! :(

At his 1 week checkup, Declan weighed 6 lb, 12 oz (down an ounce from when we left the hospital) and he was 19.5 inches long (down an inch from when we left the hospital). We were shocked to hear that he had lost an inch - but the nurse reminded us that he was born with a big old cone-head, and that had shrunk down!

The first week now feels like a blur. It went by soo fast, and we were so tired, all of the details just run together!!

Being a mom is super hard, but so rewarding! I just love him so much!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Declan!

Our sweet baby boy, Declan Thomas was born
at 36 weeks on Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm.
He weighed 7 lb 7 oz
He was 20.5 inches long

Because I love to read other people's birth stories, I decided to tell my own.

If you read my last post, you know that I started having contractions pretty early (at 32 weeks). I continued to have contractions through the next few weeks, but they were always alleviated by my medicine.

At 35 weeks, I had some signs that labor was probably going to happen pretty soon. These "events" were pretty gross, so I will spare you the details! When my doctor checked my cervix I was 1 cm dilated, and 50% effaced. While many people can be 1 cm, or even 4 cm dilated for weeks, I had a gut feeling that my body was not going to make it to 40 weeks. I made sure all of my bags were packed and I was ready for this baby that week!

On Friday (35.6 weeks), I was leaving work and started having contractions. This was something I had grown accustomed to, but they were definitely stronger than they had been before, and they just felt different. I went home and immediately took my medicine, hoping it would get rid of the contractions soon. Unfortunately, I was up all night, every hour, with contractions.

By 4 am, the contractions were 5-7 minutes apart and getting stronger. At this point, I got in the shower, and Patrick and I started preparing to go to the hospital. By 5:30, the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and painful, so we called the doctor, and he told us to go to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:30, and I was 2 cm dilated and 100% effaced. Unfortunately, we had to wait until 10 am (it was a Saturday) for the doctor to arrive at the hospital. Let me tell you, those 3.5 hours were MISERABLE! The contractions were so painful, and the only way I found relief was by walking the hallways and rocking during contractions.

Once the doctor arrived, I was 3 cm dilated, and they decided to admit me for labor!!!

By 11:00 Saturday morning, we were moved from triage to our own L&D room, they broke my water, gave me an epidural, and started me on pitocin.
Side note: Whoever invented the epidural is a hero in my books - I mean, it was life changing. Contractions are probably one of the most painful things I've ever experienced - they felt like severe menstrual cramps that had me doubled over in pain. The weird thing about them, though, is that you have complete relief in between and you feel like you are all better, until another one strikes!!

In the next couple of hours following my epidural, I was feeling great, couldn't feel any of the contractions, and we had lots of visitors in our room! We were so thankful to have close family, and my wonderful friend Courtney, there to share the experience. We asked Courtney to be in the room while we pushed and to be our photographer!

At 1:00, the doctor came in to check my cervix. We were shocked to hear that in only 2 hours I was 10 cm - I had progressed very quickly for a first timer!
Finding out we were about to start pushing, and that our little man would be in our arms in no more than a couple of hours, was a very emotional moment for Patrick and me.

After 2 hours of pushing, 1 vacuum, and a couple snip-snips later, our precious son was here!

Because he was 4 weeks early, my sweet baby had to be taken up to the nursery immediately for evaluation. Luckily, he received a clean bill of health, but those few hours he was away from me were the most difficult of the whole experience!!

I am not very good at expressing my feelings in writing, but I can say that my life changed the minute I saw "pregnant" on that little white and purple stick 8 months ago. I had so much love for the little nugget growing in my belly, and now I am so madly in love with this little boy, I could just stare at him all day. To create a little human being that is the perfect combination of me and the person I love most in this world is an amazing thing. I feel so unbelievably blessed!