Wow. All I can say is wow.
Wow to the past couple weeks.
Wow to the people who have been so generous and caring towards me and our little family.
Wow to my incredible family, who sacrificed and have given so much to us
Wow to the power of Eternal Families.
Wow to the love I have for my husband who has shown me how much he loves me and how much he adores our little girl.
Wow to how much I love Olivia.
And so much more.
So it all started on Wednesday the 12th. I went in for my routine 36 week appointment. We went in for an ultrasound for a good check up. The ultrasound tech was super awesome, I've had him before and he just makes you feel so comfortable and answers any questions perfectly so we can understand what is going on. He was checking out how everything was, and then he got a little worried seeing how much fluid I had. Amniotic fluid is supposed to be between 5 and 25cm. When he first measured, I was at a 4.something and so he measured again and the average of the two turned out to be a 5.4. He said depending on who my doctor was, we might be delivering her that day. Tony and I started to freak out a little bit... Ok really I just had a massive freakout while Tony kept completely calm as usual. I don't know how he does that. I need to learn. So we met up with Dr. Horsley (I freaking love his doctor for anyone in Logan looking for a good one) and he said instead of coming in a week later like I was supposed to, to come in on Monday for another ultrasound check to see if the fluid has improved at all, if not, we would be having her then. I was still freaking out.
I hadn't been able to keep anything down for a week. From all my baby belly bump pictures, it hardly looks like I'm pregnant. For some reason, instead of growing out like babies should, baby O was growing in and up, which paired up with my lap band meant hardly any food for me.
Saturday, I had an INCREDIBLE baby shower thrown by the best friends I can ever have Taylor and Mara. They worked so hard and made it absolutely beautiful. Even though I could hardly eat, Heavenly Father let me hold down all the delicious food there, whew! It was really such a wonderful time with friends and family. I loved everyone who came.
So my mom was here and was planning on leaving right after the baby shower, until we told her about what the doctor said. So naturally, she says she'll stay just til after our appointment Monday. So just in case we did have the baby, we tried a little here and a little there to finish up getting some things ready, buying the little things we didn't think to get so soon, etc. Sunday evening i was nowhere close to having anything ready. My nursery was a wreck, my house was dirty, life was just crazy and I was too exhausted to care or do anything.
I went to bed late that night. I usually do anyway. My favorite thing is to just slip into bed and cuddle Tony til I fall asleep, but I just couldn't slip away. I stared out our window while looking back to Tony every couple minutes thinking "This could be the last night of this type of life. Are we ready? Will I still get to cuddle him like this? Will we have time for each other anymore? Will we ever sleep again?"
I just had the gut feeling that everything was going to change the next day.
8:00 came around and we were off to the hospital. The ultrasound tech measured my fluids at 4.0 and off to Dr. Horsley we went. I'm sure he did this a lot, but I found it strange how camly he looked at me and said "Ok, we're going to take you upstairs and get this baby out"
They got me into the room, which was VERY nice, and got me all hooked up to IVs and such. They were going to start me on pitocin, but looked at the monitors and saw that I was contracting every 45seconds. I mean, I felt crampy and all for a few days, but I just thought that was all part of the prego thing.. Nope. Contractions. I didn't REALLY feel anything until they broke my water. Thats when they started to hurt.. Like a freaking mother. I was progressing SO SLOW. It took me ten hours to go from a 1 to a 3. Within that time, I had my 3 allowed shots of fentanyl- aka the wonder drug.
Yes Tony documented my contractions via Itouch....
The contractions didn't make me cry, they just hurt so bad, but as soon as they gave me my first shot of fentanyl, I cried out of relief. Mom and Tony just laughed at me haha. After the three shots within so many hours, I decided to get my epidural, where Mom and Tony continued to laugh at me even more because that was one of the things I was absolutely TERRIFIED about. Tony sat in front of my face talking to distract me the whole time, while Mom and Sister were trying to psych me out even more. I was shaking so bad cause I was scared/in pain from contractions. Finally it was in, and I had my happy button. Bless whoever discovered these beautiful things. I only felt the occasional pressure, and got the shakes a little, but I. Felt. Nothing. And it was glorious. Until the point came when I wasn't progressing enough and Dr decided to manually get me from a 3 to a 5. That was probably the most pain I've ever been in and the most pain I had throughout this whole process. I never want to have to have it happen again, but its what got me progressing how I should. Time went by slow still.
Tony was sleeping, Mom was just in her chair being amazing and helping me when I was throwing up, Linds was awesome by sticking with it. Then at about 4am, we were hearing death screams all around us.
Lady number one in the room next to us was screaming bloody murder. The epidural was one of my biggest fears, but the biggest was when I would have to be pushing. This did not help. Sounded like a cow that got ran over and was clinging on to dear life, however it was justified cause she was doing it natural. Lady number 2 in the room on the other side of us was also making death sounds, however, she had the epidural. Terror. These ladies had been pushing for 3 hours and still didn't have babies. I started to cry out of fear when the nurse came in and told me it was my turn to push.
I asked the nurse average pushing time for this type of deal. She said typical is an hour to two hours of pushing. Eff my life. We got all set up for my practice pushes, Tony on one side, My momma on the other, count to 10. The nurse stopped and said "Ok we need to go get Dr. Horsley."
She was right there. So just like that, everyone was setting up for the show.
20 minutes of pushing.
Did I feel a thing? Not even.
I couldn't believe I made something so perfect. She was so tiny. 5lbs 5oz and 19inches long. She was beautiful. Didn't even need NICU time. The most we had to do was pay close attention to her blood sugar level, and she was at risk for jaundice, so we had to keep her under bilirubin lights for a couple days, but it was so cool to have the medical tools to have her at home in her own little tanning bed.
It was so nice to have family and friends visit, all in the excitement of our little bundle. My mom was a freaking rockstar and made us some delicious freezer meals, while friends and people from the ward would come and bring dinners as well. Everyone has been so sweet to us and has made us feel extremely loved.
It really has been the hardest, yet rewarding week and a half of my life. There are so many ups and downs and things that people don't really talk about when you are a new mother. I think I'm going to keep it real and give some honest opinions on it all.
*Breastfeeding is actually really hard, especially when your newborn is only 5lbs. She dropped down to 4lbs 15oz when we went in for an appointment and her doctor gave us formula to give her with my milk a couple times a day. I seriously felt like a failure because my milk wasn't giving her what she needed and the fact that she refuses to stay awake to have a full meal has made me cry. Many times. I never even knew how impossible it would be at times to get her to wake up. There have been numerous times i've had to strip us both down and do skin to skin before she would even try. No one wants to get completely topless every single time you breastfeed. However, when she has a bottle, she can be zonked out and still guzzle it all in 10 minutes no problem. More disappointment. Another problem I've encountered breastfeeding is again since she is so small, its more calories for her to take it directly from me, than it is to feed her a bottle. Trying to drink and suck for 30 minutes vs. guzzling in 10 minutes- makes sense right? Although its been difficult, and so many tears have been dropped because of it, I think its getting easier. I'll keep trying and keep pumping (which also kills, super super sore boobs are no fun).
*As much as we love visitors, we shouldn't have let everyone in so soon. I love all of our friends, I really do. But I have learned this time, that next time, I need to say no. There have been so many friends who have wanted to come over and see Olivia, and thats great. I know everyone is excited and happy for us. Have Tony and I had a single day where we don't have a visitor? No. And it makes me really sad. Its even harder when people drop by without even calling or texting. Not cool. I love you but come on, really? I need my family time. Yes we have a small amount of time throughout the day, but between his schedule and having people come over, the only time we've had with each other has been watching an episode of something on netflix cause we're both so exhausted and don't have time to do anything else. I should have waited AT LEAST a week or two before letting anyone in my home. Call is selfish or whatever, but this thing is hard enough without having to please everyone else.
*Along with needing family time, I need time to heal. I knew pushing a baby out would have a bit of recovery time, but for whoever is reading who might possibly gain some advice from this- Let your husband help. Don't try to be superwoman. I am so stubborn, and I think I can do everything by myself, which results in a harder recovery. Tony has been incredible and tells me when to stop and he takes over. Ladies, put that pride aside. Sit down. Lay down with your baby. Don't worry about looking decent, or doing dishes, or taking care of absolutely everything you THINK you need to. Relax. Heal.
*Sleep deprivation. Its so real. Again. Let husbands help. They are amazing when you need an extra hour of snoozing that can make the world's difference.
*I thought emotions during pregnancy were bad. I cry at everything now. Good, bad, or if I just think about something too long. I've had a good mix of crying out of both frustration, exhaustion, just looking at my perfect daughter, and happy future prospects. I've ruined so many contacts in the past couple weeks.
*Babies will ALWAYS pee and poo when their diapers are off. Just happens.
Ok, thats just a couple examples of things that I didn't expect. But there are good things as well.
*You know how people say that your husband becomes hotter once he becomes a dad? Uh, yes. So true. Nothing makes me happier than seeing him and his face light up when she hiccups, or pulls her Zoolander look. Seeing those two cuddle has to be the cutest/most attractive thing on the face of the planet. That, along with how hormonal you are after having a baby, I curse the 6week rule numerous times a day now. But in all seriousness, there has been a change between Tony and I. Unexplainable. But incredible. I have never felt closer to him and it still amazes me how much love can grow from day to day. I married an amazing man.
* I LOVE seeing her little eyes explore the world. I also find it so interesting when she stares at a spot for a really long time. It makes me wonder how thin the veil truly is and who is possibly helping her out in this tough transition time :) I can stare into those eyes forever. (Tony and I are still taking bets on whether her eyes are going to turn out to be blue or brown. I say brown, he says blue)
* I used to think all newborns were ugly. Not mine. And i know thats such a cliche thing to say, but for reals here people. I have a gorgeous daughter :) Tony is already looking into shotguns for the future.
* There really is such a different spirit in our home. Eternal families really are such a powerful thing. Tony and I have always worked hard to have our home a place where the spirit can dwell, but ever since Olivia has joined, I have noticed a difference. Its such an incredible experience to have our own little family and to watch it grow the way it needs to.
* I love how everything she wears swallows her up. She is sooo tiny!! Newborn clothes are way too big. Whenever we need to go to the doctor, we bundle her up and she pretty much looks like Randy from A Christmas Story.
Doesn't even look like a real baby right?
* I love feeling needed. I love being a mom. Knowing that someone so precious relies on me so much, and that I have the abilities to help her grow and develop is something I've never felt. I now realize how selfish I was before. I can't imagine putting myself before her. Its weird to think of selfishness and how for me, it has changed. When I was single, that was one thing. When I married Tony, it changed to a different level, and he was my sole priority. When I became a mother, every selfish personal need of mine left. I focus on Olivia. And it is nice to stop worrying about myself for once and put my time and energy into both Tony and her :)
*I'm SO good at multitasking now
*Bath time makes me melt. Oh my gosh it makes me melt. The way she'll be screaming bloody murder one second, and as soon as you run the top of her head under running water- she is sedated. So. Freaking. Adorable!! AND her hair is growing SO much and getting so blonde!!! I LOVE IT!
I'll eventually give more positive examples at another time, cause this is one really long post already.
I seriously love being a mom though. I love my baby more than anything. My life is now forever changed and through all the hard things, through all the wonderful things, I'd do everything all over again if it would get me to this point right here.
Still trying to figure it all out. Still exploring with my little family. As long as I have my little family safe and healthy.
Welcome to the world Olivia Leona.