Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Multitasking Mama

Ambrosia has resumed her normal breastfeeding schedule thanks to her safe pain meds (the same ones they give to c-section mamas after birth), her very supportive family, and Ambrosia's unwavering determination. Only the 24 hours after surgery had to be thrown out due to pain meds. Now Gwen visits twice a day for direct breastfeeding, and receives breast milk in between at home (from a bottle). Her right arm has limited use and her left rib is still very sore, but Gwen and mama have found a position that works.

Here's Ambrosia breastfeeding while a continuous motion machine performs physical therapy on her left leg to speed recovery:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Reunion!

Today Ambrosia was released from Oakland Kaiser and admitted to the Kaiser rehab center in San Leandro (510-481-8575). It is finally safe for visits from Gwen, here's the happy mommy + baby we all love:

Ambrosia is making a lot of progress in PT. It is safe for her to stand on her right leg and while her rib injury makes it a little difficult she hopes to be able to hold a crutch under her left arm soon. Here she is practicing standing with the left arm/right leg:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Surgery was a success! (and Merry Christmas!)

Ambrosia's knee and collarbone surgery was a complete success, and the surgeon is very optimistic about her recovery.

If you would like to help by providing a meal, please check out the online sign up sheet Alex made:


User name: meals

Password: meals

If you'd like to call Ambrosia and wish her a Merry Christmas you can reach her on her cell or through the receptionist at Oakland Kaiser Hospital: (510) 251-0121

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Studleys Are ALIVE!

So this happened:

Spencer is fine. Gwen is fine. Ambrosia will be fine...soon*:

Ambrosia had surgery on her leg and clavicle today at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland (feel free to visit!). She was transferred there from Santa Clara yesterday so she could be seen by Kaiser's best Bay Area bone surgeon. Within a week or so she will be back home, but due to the extent of her injuries she will need A LOT of support caring for herself and Gwen.

Spencer is doing the best he can to take care of Gwen while mommy gets better with the help of family and friends (Grandma Sandee is there this week and next; Auntie Angelique arrives on the 4th). The next 4 - 6 weeks will be a very difficult time. Please check this blog frequently for updates on Ambrosia's schedule if you are interested in helping out--while Gwen and Ambrosia's caretaking will be covered we could use a lot of help with meals, shopping, errands, and babysitting as well as moral support. Ambrosia and Spencer are both available on their cell phones if you'd like to arrange a visit.

*UPDATE 12/26: Ambrosia and Spencer were concerned that my diagram of Ambrosia's broken bones would cause a panic because it might be interpreted as if she shattered entire leg bones, when in fact the injury to her femur and tibia were just where they meet the knee. The diagram is supposed to highlight each broken bone, not where it's broken, but whatever: I replaced the original image with a more conservative one. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

'Tis the Season

Thank you everyone who was able to make it to our Holiday Open House today. It was so nice to spend time with friends and family. We have been working on daytime naps and Gwen took today to master the daytime nap by sleeping 3+ hours! She has never napped so long before (when she was a newborn we would wake her up to nurse after 3 hours). It is unfortunate that she napped almost the whole party; Spencer was really looking forward to carrying her around in her bjorn so she could visit with everyone. I have to admit though, it was nice to socialize without having to worry about the baby. Gwen loves the Christmas tree and all the little lights, so we will be leaving it up for a while. If you couldn't make it today (or didn't get the evite for some reason) and would like to stop by for a visit, pop us an email or give us a call we would love to see you!

*Kudos to Fark and Malia for helping us with setup and Keri for helping us with clean up- we really appreciate the help!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All I want for Christmas is SLEEP!!!

We have been working on the sleep thing- last week things went well and wen technically slept through the night (5-6 hours) Tuesday-Friday. She even took a 2 hour nap on Wednesday and I was amazed at the free time I had! Well then the weekend came... and any progress we made on her sleep was totally undone. I am back to being up every 2-3 hours to nurse :-( and can only get her to nap in her wrap or stroller, or in bed with me after I nurse her. I am reading The No Cry Sleep Solution and I am hopeful that this well be helpful. We hope to have her sleeping in her crib, in her own room, by the New Year (with a few daytime naps). This means we will have to be a lot more disciplined and develop a sleep routine (holidays probably aren't the best time to try and do this, but she can't wait- and I can't wait- we need some sleep!!!).

Monday, December 1, 2008

2 Month Check Up, What a Big Girl!

Gwen had her 2 month check up today- right on schedule as she is officially now 2 months old. She weighed in at 13 lbs 5 oz which is in the 97% percentile and is an increase of over a pound since I had her weighed 11/20. Needless to say I think I don't need to worry about a supply issue with my milk anymore!!!

Her pediatrician asked about what the hardest thing about being a parent was and I said the lack of sleep (and burst into tears)- which opened the door to talking about how much sleep the baby gets. Gwen cried almost the whole time during the appointment and hearing about her sleep schedule (or lack there of) and seeing her hysterical for no reason diagnosed her as overtired and gave us paperwork on how to sleep train her (not something you usually do until 3 or 4 months). Now that we have breastfeeding down, and are feeding on demand, we need to figure out how to coordinate that with a sleep schedule.... in the long run this will make everyone's life easier, but it is going to be a big challenge, and require a lot of discipline on my part especially (since I run the milk factory). I got to say, at 4am I am guilty of doing what is easiest (letting her fall asleep with me in bed after nursing). I have been going off the philosophy that you can't spoil a baby so little, but she is becoming such a big girl and rather than just caring for her and her needs, we are actually going to have to start parenting her. I didn't quite see the difference until today and it makes me a little sad realizing, already, that our little girl is growing up.

After our lecture on how to get the baby to sleep more, we had to get her shots. There is a separate department for this Pediatric Injections, and all these ladies do is shoot up babies all day long...I don't know how they sleep at night (I imagine to the sound of babies crying ringing in their ears). There is a lot of controversy around vaccinations, but we decided to go for it considering the diverse community we live in with people coming and going from all over the world. Gwen got her 2 month vaccines which include an oral vaccine for Rotavirus, a shot in one thigh for Hepatitus B part 2 (she had the first in the hospital), another shot in the thigh of Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, and in the other thigh a combo of Diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP) (and possibly the polio one too- I would have to double check our notes). Needless to say this was a challenging trip to the doctors office and we are all glad we don't have to go back until she is 4 months!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What we are thankful for...

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

8 weeks, but not 2 months!

Since I became pregnant Spencer and I have had ridiculous conversations about the difference between weeks and months- I was never 10 months pregnant, but 40 weeks (actually 41 weeks). Anyway, Gwen is 8 weeks today!

She is starting to coo and make all kinds of cute baby noises.

She loves her little gymini and can entertain herself for up to 15 minutes on this thing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving Festivites

This past weekend we did early Thanksgiving in Santa Rosa- Saturday traditional turkey dinner at Mike and Pam's and Sunday horsdeouvres all day at Sandees. We also had Sunday brunch a la Rachel and Becca. Gwen got to meet a lot of friends and family and we had a great time. We stayed two nights at Grandma Sandee's and Gwen did amazing- she wasn't phased a bit by us being/sleeping/eating in a new place, and I think actually benefited from all the attention and Grandma time. We had our first outing without baby- Spencer and I went to see the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace which was pretty good- lots of action but not much story. We grabbed hot chocolate at A'Romas afterward, one of our old hangouts, but got it to go so we could hurry back to our little one. Gwen slept the whole time in Grandma's arms :-)

This video was the day we left- Gwen wanted to make sure she got one last meal in before hitting the road.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

7 weeks! What an Angel!

Gwen's Auntie Angelique visited this past weekend and kept us company and helped out while Spencer was out of town at our friends Alex and Lela's wedding in Austin TX (Congratulations you two!). We had a great weekend and Angel enjoyed dressing Gwen up in all her cute clothes and became at a pro at diaper duty and changed almost every daytime diaper (Thank you Angel!).

Gwen is becoming more expressive with lots of smiles but there are many times that she knows what she wants, but it is a mystery to everyone else...which means we end up having a nasty cry session. And as she gets older what soothed her last week, doesn't anymore- which is frustrating for everyone. She is doing really well though and has outgrown her newborn clothes and is starting to out grow her 0-3 months clothes. I am suspicious she is about 12 lbs and a good few inches longer than when she was born. We are gearing up for early Thanksgiving this upcoming weekend up in Santa Rosa- stay tuned for holiday pics!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

6 weeks and all smiles

Gwen is becoming more and more interactive- which means more smiles :-)

PS- the sleeping 8 hours thing was an anomaly- she wakes about every 3 hours to breastfeed...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

5 weeks and 8 hours!

Gwen is 5 weeks today and celebrated by sleeping through the night 8 consecutive hours! It was glorious- she went to sleep at 11:45pm, stirred at 3am, stirred again around 6am (I got up went to the bathroom, came back to get her up and she was sound asleep again), still sleeping when Spencer left work, and was finally wide awake at 7:45am. When she stirs at night she makes all these sucking noises and grunting noises- I tried to capture that on video, but instead I got her making her cute little "I'm hungry mouth" and either pooing or farting. Someday she will be horrified to know that this was shared with general public, until then, enjoy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

November Already!?!?

Time is just flying! Or maybe I am just so sleep deprived that one day is morphing into the next, and then the next and it is all a blur....

Gwen is more amazing each day. We can practically see her growing and she is starting to make cute little baby noises, look at people (rather than just in their general direction), and smile (not just I am farting smile but a true smile. We hit 4 weeks this past Wednesday, and one month on Saturday- she is no longer a newborn but an infant. It is still anyone's guess what color her eyes might be, but her hair definitely has an amber glow to it. For Halloween she went to a pumpkin carving party with her Daddy, and handed out candy to a few trick or treaters until she was famished and spent most of the rest of the evening nursing (she has been cluster feeding).

Hope everyone had a great Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

3 Weeks!

Gwen is 3 weeks today, which means Spencer went back to work :-(

So far her and I are managing fairly well. I am able to post typing one handed while nursing her, and am hopeful we will both take a nap when she is done. I was able to eat breakfast and lunch (while nursing) and was even able to take a shower while she napped in her car seat on the bathroom floor. These feel like tremendous accomplishments and if I can pull off a nap then the day will be a huge success.

Two other milestones: Gwen received her social security card in today's mail, and her nubbin (umbilical cord stump) fell off! But her bellybutton isn't quite complete yet, there is an inner nasty that will apparently dry out and fall off too, so we still need to wait for that to happen before we know if she will have an innie or an outie, and before we can have bath time (have to continue with sponge baths in the meantime).

In honor of Spencer and our first three weeks:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baby in Action

While out on a walk, Gwen worked really hard on a poopy diaper.

"Hello, Dadddy? I have a poopy diaper and need it changed ASAP- thanks!"

Chillin' on the changin' table.

One of these things is not like the other, or are they?

When we look at little Gwen we see a little of both of us and our different family members in her features. Sometimes she looks just like Spencer, and sometimes Ambrosia (if you can see beyond the dark hair).

Ambrosia when she was a few days old

Spencer when he was born- complete with birth stats

More baby Spencer

Baby Brynden (Spencer's sister)

Spencer and Gwen...? No, Mike (Spencer's Dad) and baby Brynden

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two weeks ago today...our birth story

Date of Birth: October 1, 2008
Time of Birth: 6:33am
Birth Weight: 9lbs 2oz
Birth Length: 20.25in
Head Circumference: 35.5cm

Our Birth Story:

I had my 41 week appointment Tuesday 9.30.08 at lunchtime. I was 5 centimeters and 100% effaced, with baby at station -1. My doctor stripped my membranes to help speed things along (I measured 4 cm the week before). She insisted on scheduling an induction- she wanted to schedule it for Friday but we agreed on 10.7.08 when I would be exactly 2 weeks. I was ready to have the baby, but my goal was a natural childbirth and the thought of being induced was very upsetting to me. I left the appointment with Spencer in tears (I was also a bit crampy from the exam). I spent the rest of the day on the couch- which was unusual as I had spent the whole month before of my maternity leave seriously nesting. That evening we went out to dinner with friends and I noticed what had been mild cramping during the day was becoming stronger and more rhythmic. Later on, around 10pm I told Spencer that I was in labor- this was it. We wanted to do our early labor at home and we walked up and down the street to keep things going (and it was a great distraction for me). He kept waiting for the contractions to even out and be the text book every 3-5 minutes lasting one minute for one hour before we called labor and delivery and I kept telling him that this was not a textbook case as I had done most of early labor over the last two weeks (since I was already 5 centimeters!). Finally at midnight I insisted we call labor and delivery- (I was getting concerned about the ride to the hospital- only 10 minutes at that time of night, but I knew it was going to be uncomfortable and while I wanted to wait, I didn't want to wait too long). This worked out great because when we arrived at the hospital around 1am I could no longer walk or talk through my contractions and was in active labor.

I met my labor and delivery doctor (different from my OB) and she assured me we would follow my birth plan of having a natural childbirth as closely as possible. My water broke just before she started her exam (I think I was 6 cm). She agreed that I didn't have to have an IV if I didn't want one (yay!) and she assured me she would not give me an episiotomy. I also wanted to not cut the cord until it stopped pulsing and she said it would depend since there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. I was given a fetal monitor that allowed me to be out of bed and I labored in a rocking chair in the room for a few hours, with the lights dim and my eyes closed. I tried to rest between contractions as much as possible since it was night time and I wanted to conserve my energy. This was doable until I hit transition and I felt like I was crawling out of my skin. There were two times during this period (I guess it was about 45 minutes) that I thought to myself that getting one of the narcotics to take the edge off might not be a bad idea...but I powered through. Spencer was great prompting me to relax and helping me with my breathing; and holding my hand and giving me water when I needed it. I could not have had a natural childbirth without his support.

As transition was reaching its peak, I had the urge to lie down and curl up and made my way to the birthing bed, but as soon as I laid down I threw up (poor Spencer was holding my little throw container and almost lost it himself). I was starting to feel really out of control and was loosing my center at that point when my nurse told me I should start practicing pushing. She set up the birthing bar over the bed (you can hold on to it while you squat in the bed, or sit upright and hold on to it, or what I ended up doing sitting upright but with my feet up on the bar which worked really well). I didn't believe her that it was time to push, but once I started (and she gave me a little direction on how and when to push) I realized the contractions were actually spacing themselves (rather than being one right on top of the other) and there was a relief in pushing. They set up a mirror so I could see what I was doing, and the nurse had me feel my little girls head inside me, which was crazy because it felt super soft like a ripe tomato. This was the encouragement I needed and the doctor arrived shortly as the baby's head started to crown.

I pushed for a bit less than two hours (I had no sense of time though and it didn't seem that long). My baby girl was born at 6:33am on October 1st after less than 9 hours of active labor. They put her on my stomach and I felt her little feet which had been kicking my ribs for all those months. Daddy got to cut the cord, but then they took her across the room to be checked out since there was a lot of meconium in the amniotic fluid- but she was fine. They weighed her and I was shocked to hear she was 9 lbs!

Spencer was across the room with the baby and my Mother-in-law, Sandee, was holding my hand as the doctor was getting concerned about the amount of blood loss I was having (more than she would like, she said). She ended up sticking her hand inside me and massaging my uterus from the inside and outside (this was on par with the most uncomfortable parts of transition!). I got a shot of Pitocin in my thigh and some Cytotec (helps uterine contractions). I also had a small 2nd degree tear, most likely because baby’s shoulders came out horizontal rather than turning to the side. This post partum stuff was super uncomfortable and seriously seemed worse than labor. After I was all taken care of they brought the baby back and I was able to try and breast feed (we are still struggling with getting this down).

It was so amazing and exactly the birth experience I was looking for. We are so in love with our little baby and can't believe we created this little person.

Thank you everyone for all your support.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baby Hiccups

Gwen had hiccups in utero a lot and seems to get them just as frequently while on the outside.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Time flies when you are sleep deprived

We survived the first week! It has been a crazy roller coaster ride, but with way more ups than downs. Not sleeping enough has been the most challenging... Gwen is doing well. We have overcome the jaundice issue, but continue to struggle with breastfeeding- you would think it would be a no brainer, but there is a science or maybe it is an art to breastfeeding that we haven't quite figured out yet. But the good news is she has stopped loosing weight. It is normal for babies to loose up to 10% of their birth weight, but at one point she had lost 12% so we are having to supplement with formula (this should be temporary). We started going on a daily walk yesterday, and my goal is to be able to walk to the farmers market Saturday morning. But enough chatter, let's get to the good stuff- pictures of baby!

Grandpa Mike visited Sunday.

Gwen sleeping in the cradle Grandpa Mike made.

I'm not yellow-I'm just peachy :-)

One of the rougher afternoons, Milton didn't seem to mind and took advantage of Spencer being down.

Positive of having to use a bottle- Spencer gets to feed her too.

Tummy time!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Some pics of 'Lil Baby G

Our friends Ricky and Melissa visited on Saturday and sent us a link to some photos they took. We have tons of photos but little time between diapers, naps, and feedings to get it together to upload them...soon though.

Ricky came up with her rapper name-'Lil Baby G.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Home from hospital

Yep, Ambrosia's doing yardwork two days before going into labor!

Ambrosia's belly's a bit smaller today

Just waiting for the hospital volunteers to escort us to our car...

I call it the Kermit hold

Guess who's proud?

No comment!

Our first visitors at home! Thanks for bringing us dinner Emily (& Kyle)!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Life of Gwen: Day 2

I think Gwen has a beautiful glow in the pictures below, but the medical professionals had a different diagnosis: newborn jaundice. This is very normal and common, and easily treated by placing her under a special lamp that helps remove the yellow stuff.

Gwen loves a tight burrito wrap, or being held in mommy's arms, but being nearly naked under the jaundice lamp? Not so much. I think I recognize Spencer's chin on this adorably frustrated face...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Finally, some face shots!

Awwww, she has Ambrosia's nose and lips, all on Spencer's round face with Spencer's auburn hair! She's absolutely adorable.

Ambrosia, Spencer and little Gwen are staying the night at the hospital. They can read all of your loving comments using their iphone, keep it up!

Baby's First Pics!!!

Happy family: 

Happy mama:

Happy feet: