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:

Gwendolyn Rose Studley 9lb 2 oz 20.25"

Born October 1, 2008 at 6:33 AM, healthy and perfect!

Ambrosia is in labor!!!

Apparently Ambrosia has been in a state of mental shock this evening, and it only fleetingly occurred to her that others might like to know the labor cookies (and other efforts) paid off: she's been having contractions for several hours! She called me just at midnight with the passwords to her email and blog so I could update everyone. Our conversation was a mere 4 minutes, with a strong contraction at the beginning and end: A Little Studley is definitely about to arrive!

"But I just saw her at dinner, she seemed fine!" Some of you are thinking. It is true: she had dinner with friends tonight, despite contractions. Ambrosia is highly skilled in the art of maintaining composure, and would never interrupt a quality social gathering for something as trivial as birthing her first child. 

Oh, I kid! She really did go out to dinner and stay mum about her contractions, but things are progressing just the way Ambrosia and Spencer hoped they would--she wanted a relaxed early labor at home and apparently that was accomplished. They headed for the hospital right at midnight, making my niece's birthday guaranteed: 

October 1, 2008!

I am so excited to meet my new niece. Many of you will meet her first, please give her lots of kisses for me!

Much love to my wonderful sister and awesome brother-in-law, I anxiously await pictures!!!

Auntie Angelique
(guest contributor)