Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One Week

How old?
7 days new

Size of baby? 8 lbs 2 oz, 21 inches

Birthday? December 13, 2013 at 12:06pm... A Friday the 13th sweetie

Birth story? We decided at 41 weeks that the right decision for us would be induction. I had mixed feelings going in. On Tuesday the 10th I had my last prenatal visit and the orders for induction on the 13th. We were meant to arrive on Thursday after a nurse called us to let us know a room was ready. My doctor said it'd likely be around 8pm or so, and to eat a great big dinner beforehand since they'd have me on the ice chip diet. Hubs and I went Wednesday night to the grocery and got all sorts of goodies for the last supper. Steaks, potatoes, green beans, and rolls... basically my favorite meal. Thursday rolls around, and I get the call at 3:30, "can you plan to arrive at 5?". Do huh? Needless to say, I didn't get to enjoy the big feast we'd planned for. 

We got to the hospital around 5 and checked into our room. I was immediately changed into a glamorous hospital gown, and stuck with several needles. Hubs ran to Arby's for my last meal... Scrumptious, I know. We scarfed down roast beefs before everything got underway. The nurse on duty Thursday night explained the process to us. I'd start on cervidil that evening which was meant to soften and ready everything, but not send me into full on labor. The nurse said I may experience mild cramping, but that it would likely be an uneventful night. Pitocin would start on Friday, and they said to expect an average of 12 hours and baby would arrive sometime Friday night. 

Cervidil began around 7:30pm. I didn't notice much for a while, but tossed and turned with cramps. I chalked it up to nerves and the minor cramping the nurse warned about. Well, around 2am my back started killing me. Excruciating pain as if my hips and lower spine were being ripped out. Still not sure this was "labor", I sat there in the dark and googled "cervidil" and "back labor" until I'd convinced myself it was the real deal. At 3am, I heard a loud "pop" and a gush. Either I'd peed myself like pregnant women so gracefully do, or my water broke. I immediately woke up Hubs and called the nurse. She came in and checked and said she didn't think so, gave me a shot of morphine (which was a joke and only made me loopy) and left. The next hour I was in the worst pain imaginable. Back labor contractions that were coming every 2 minutes. Hubs could not massage my back hard enough. The pain was unbelievable! The nurse came back in and wanted to check me again. She said the contraction monitor was showing a lot more activity than they usually would see. So much for "uneventful night".... She checked me out and confirmed what I already knew- my water had broken at 3am. Duh

By that time I was 5-6cm and more than ready for an epidural. The next 30 minutes waiting to get pain relief were the longest ever. All I remember was Hubs holding my hand and encouraging me through it. He still says he's amazed at how strong I was. Us women are gangsta. Around 4:30 am I finally got the epi. It was so hard to sit still for 5 minutes while it was administered. My contractions at that point were right on top of each other... Breathe, Ashley, breathe. Epidurals are modern science's gift from heaven. I immediately felt no pain and even asked the nurse if I was still having contractions.... Oh yes, she assured me I was. 

I was finally able to rest for a couple hours. I was checked again at around 6:00 am and was already 7-8cm. Holy cow, this was happening and fast. Hubs called his parents who initially planned to head to Atlanta later in the day since we weren't expecting baby until sometime Friday night. They immediately hopped on I-20. My parents were already in town, so they fed Blakely and headed for the hospital.

I got some pretty good rest until about 9am Friday when my doctor came in to assess the situation. I was fully dilated but little girl wasn't quite down far enough yet. Rather than push for hours on end and risk c-section, I received a couple hours of pitocin. I started pushing at 11:30, and by 12:06 Evans Elizabeth finally entered the world. 36 minutes of push time. I couldn't believe it!

A flood of emotion took over. First, I was exhausted and relieved. Second, I was in shock of this new person. I remember thinking over and over "Oh my gosh, that's her. That's the baby". 

I think my face here says it all. Ecstatic, exhausted, happy, and scared. All things a new mom should be.

Our first family picture just after she arrived. Labor is not for the weak of heart, that's for sure. But it's so worth it. 

So, so worth it!

Gigi and Granddaddy

Papa and D

Our little one has a head full of dark hair

And she has olive skin like my dad's side. I'm so jealous of her tan.

Leaving the hospital! I was so excited to be going home on Sunday. I can't say enough about Northside Hospital and the nurses and staff. I was so pampered and taken care of and would absolutely deliver there again. But really, there's no place like home. When we did get home, Hubs looked at me and said "Now what?". Ha, it made us both laugh. Seriously... Now what??

The first week? The first week has been the most amazing journey through heaven and hell and back again. Recovering from birth, emotions all over the place as I ride the crazy estrogen dragon, and caring for a newborn make for the perfect out of control cocktail. Thankfully we have had tons of help from the grandparents. 

Little miss started out eating about every 90 minutes. Which meant close to no sleep for me. A few days in she started going closer to 2 hours. Now already she can stretch to 3 and occasionally 4. Those are some gold hours. I try to sleep any time she's sleeping. It's amazing how little snooze time the body can function on.

A few things I've learned so far... Breastfeeding is dang hard but so rewarding. We are both still learning, but everyday it seems to get a little better. It's definitely a big commitment and I'm not sure how long I will keep it up, but right now I love the bond Evans and I have because of it. Hard to explain. 

Another thing I've learned is that babies are a lot like paint colors- you really learn by trial and error. No two are alike, and they'll probably look different at different times in the day. Everything I do to Evans is a total guess. Hungry? Tired? Wants to be held? Diaper? Gas? Bouncy? Swing? Walk? I pretty much run through the entire bag of mommy tricks each time. Guess, guess, guess. 

Another thing I've learned, this girl hates the swaddle. She will fight you with shrill cries until your patience is nonexistent and her arms are free. She'd like to swat you with one if you dare confine her like that again. We use the Halo sleep sacks as a wearable blanket with her arms exposed and she loves that. All we heard before was swaddle, swaddle, swaddle. Who knew. Babies are all so different. 

Her first pediatrician visit was on Tuesday and all looked great. She was up 2oz which made me feel good. She's apparently eating enough! 

Who does she look like? Honestly, she reminds me a lot of my newborn pictures. I had the same skin tone and a head full of black hair. She definitely got my lips and dimples and nose. I think she has her daddy's eyes, though. It's so hard to say when they are so little. We think she looks like Evans. :)

We are in love with this sweet face. Now off to catch a wink or two while I can.... Happy one week little Evans!


Tery H said...

Evans is beautiful! Congratulations!,

Kris @ Driven by D├ęcor said...

Congratulations!!! The best holiday gift ever - she's a doll!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Congrats, Ashley. She is beautiful. Belated Merry Christmas!!

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