Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Gatorade Calamity

Last week Maisie was not her self at all. It was easily the hardest week I have ever had. She had got her shots on Friday the 16th and she was totally fine through the weekend and then suddenly on Monday Maisie had made a total 360. I was so worried that it was the immunizations that put her in a funk. She was screaming all day long and wouldn't let me put her down for anything. She would fall asleep in my arms and the minute I would try to transition her into her crib she would wake up and start the screaming all over again. This was so unlike her. She was such a happy, content and mellow baby and now suddenly she was a handful (literally since I couldn't put her down). On Friday the 23rd (one week after her shots) I decided to call the advise nurse because it got to the point where the calm baby I once had was no longer in the picture. The nurse asked me a bunch of questions like is she still eating the same? Yes. Is she still wetting and dirtying her diapers regularly? Yes. Is she sleeping at night? Yes (Thank heaven for that because if she wasn't I am pretty sure I would be bald!). Does she have a fever? No. Have you changed anything in your diet? No. She then said that as of right now there is nothing really to worry about, but if we wanted to bring her in we could. I told her I would give her another day and see if there is any improvement. I believe babies cry for a reason and it was breaking my heart that I couldn't figure out how to make this better. I started doubting the decisions I had made to get her vaccinated and started to feel like a crummy parent. Austin tried to reassure me, but when my baby girl is crying her lungs out, it's hard to feel reassured. Saturday morning (the morning of our birthing class reunion) I was in the shower and suddenly it hit me... Lemon-Lime Gatorade! Austin and I bought a massive amount of lemon-lime Gatorade powder at Costco. I got out of the shower and asked Austin in a very serious tone "When did we get that Gatorade?" Austin raised his eyebrows and said "Um, last weekend sometime I think." Bingo! Oh man, it makes sense! I realized that I had been drinking a lot of that instead of my normal water intake. I then stopped drinking it cold turkey and sure enough my sweet Maisie has returned! It must have been upsetting my poor Maisie's tummy! Now I am trying to figure out what exactly in the Gatorade was upsetting her. I just read that citrus can change the properties or at least the taste of breast milk, but was that it? Everyone that I have told is very surprised that the culprit was something as meager as Gatorade, but it definitely was. I would like to figure out if it was an ingredient in it that was bothering her or was I simply drinking too much of it? Either way I think I will stay clear of it for awhile and then maybe later on I will try to reintroduce it in small amounts. I am just so thankful I was able to figure it out and that my Maisie is back to her sweet normal self.

Lemon-Lime Gatorade = A very unhappy Maisie.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Birthing Class Reunion

We just got back from our Lamaze birthing class reunion and it went wonderfully! It was great to catch up with the 4 other first time parents and talk about the adventures of parenthood thus far. It's so nice to see the ladies I only knew as massively pregnant women to now mothers of beautiful healthy babies. Maisie was the oldest by 10 days and the youngest of the bunch was 6 weeks old. There were 4 girls Emerson, Isabella, Avery and of course Maisie and 1 boy named Harrison (Maisie's boyfriend). We actually bumped into Tim, Danielle and Harrison at Mo's at the coast 2 weeks ago what a crazy coincidence that was! Anyway, we had a great BBQ lunch, shared our birth stories and overall just had a great time. Maisie had her first experience in a swing and Austin and I are now going to HAVE to get one! She loved it! So the reunion was a great success! Here are some of the pictures we took today.

Mommies & babies (Maisie, Isabella, Harrison, Avery and Emerson)

The daddys turn!

Isabella & Maisie

Harrison & Maisie

Emerson & Maisie

My Beautiful Maisie

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

First Play-date!

Last Saturday my friend Tess brought her 2 week old son Keenan, over to meet Maisie. I was shocked to see how tiny a little newborn was compared to my "giant" 2 month old. It so was nice to catch up with her and meet her husband Sean. We spent the day snacking on chips and salsa and talking about our babies. It's great to have friends who are in the same boat as us. Some times you just need to talk to someone who knows exactly what you are going through. Here are a couple pictures of the cuties!

Last night our neighbors Derek and Meghann invited us for a delicious dinner/bbq. We always have so much fun with them. We end up talking and laughing for hours. They have a precious 1 year old daughter named Olivia AKA Livvie and they are 23 weeks pregnant with their second daughter. We feel so blessed to have such wonderful neighbors. They are very upbeat, positive and also have wonderful values. We look forward to all of our get togethers with them.

This weekend is going to be a busy one. This Saturday we have our birthing class reunion, which should be a lot of fun. We are going to have a BBQ and of course meet all the little ones. I can't wait to see how every one is doing.

On Sunday we are headed to Salem so Tess and I can make homemade baby food. By the time our babies are eating solids it will no longer be fruit and veggie season. So we are going to make it at its peak of freshness and store it. So when the day rolls around we will be prepared!

Expect an update after this weekend with pictures of the birthing class reunion and of the baby food making process. It should be a great weekend!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Shots, Updates and Goals. Oh My!

Late yesterday afternoon Austin and I packed Maisie up to go to her 2 month appointment. (I still can't believe that my little Maisie is 9 weeks old!) We were a little apprehensive about this appointment because this is when most children start their immunizations. I have been on the fence about this subject because it seems like every one has an opinion. For example: "I would NEVER get my kids immunized!" or "Why in the world wouldn't you!?" It really makes a new mom doubt herself. I have read articles about cases of Autism that were supposedly caused by infant vaccinations and it's a very scary thought. Austin and I really had to sit down and talk about what WE thought and honestly, if we had to choose if our child had a chance to develop Autism or something life threatening, we personally would pick Autism. Now I know that's an awful thought, but that's what made our decision a little easier. After probably an hour of talking with our pediatrician (whom we love) on what would be best for us, we decided that we would get the first round of vaccines. I had to leave the room while they were being administered I just couldn't do it. She has been a trooper though, just a little more on the drowsy side and when shes up she seems a little more quick to fuss, but other then that it hasn't been too terrible. We feel like we made the right decision for our family and that's all we can try to do by days end.

Anyway, enough talk about the shots on to the updates!

I thought it would be fun to do all of her updates from her first mommy/baby appointment to her 2 month appointment.

Birth: Weight: 7 pounds 0 oz Height: 19.5 inches
1 week: Weight: 7 pounds 3 oz (gained the 4% body weight she lost in the hospital plus 3 oz)
2 weeks: Weight: 7 pounds 15 oz Height: 21.25 inches
2 month: Weight: 11 pounds 1 oz Height: 23 inches

She is in the 50th percentile for weight 75th percentile in height and just above the 50th percentile in head circumference. Shes a healthy and happy 2 month old.

Here are some goals I hope to accomplish in a month:

1) Get family pictures taken.
2) Make a chandelier mobile for Maisie. She loves our ceiling fan and I want to make her something a little more pretty to look at then that. :-)
3) Try putting Maisie down for a nap in her crib everyday.
4) Have a picnic in Washington Park.
5) Make it to another Thursday night dinner at my Aunt Lori's home. Maisie is still wanting to meet little Finn!

Well that's enough chit chat for tonight... How about some pictures!?


Too cute for words!

Piggy back with Daddy!

Miss Maisie eating her hand.

Mommy & Maisie's Morning Cuddle

Getting ready to go swimming for the first time!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The eventful birth of Maisie Claire

Ideally I would have gone into labor on (or before) my due date because passing that date, the date you dreamed about for so long, is pure torture. It just passes like any other day which only leaves you to spend hours (and hours. and hours) googling "signs of early labor" or "first signs of labor".  I was lucky and only went four days over, but still those four days felt longer than my whole third trimester did. Especially seeing how my midwife was convinced I was going to have Maisie up to two weeks early. If I hadn't gone into labor by the 17th I was scheduled to be induced and thank heaven it didn't come to that. Maisie just needed the extra 4 days to prepare for her big entrance, because boy, it's hard work for both mamas and babies. 

Convinced I was going to have Maisie sooner than later and with the growing of excitement (and belly) I tried to help get things started. Things that I tried: (including, but not limited to) miles a day of walking, lunging up stairs, drinking raspberry leaf tea, extremely spicy food, and yes a tablespoon of castor oil (note to self: never do that again) I was making myself exhausted and literally sick (er... castor oil) trying to force labor. So I gave up trying on the day of my due date which was Monday the 10th.

Later that week my sister Katie flew in, in hopes to be present for the labor and birth. I had my last midwife appointment the morning we picked Katie up from the airport which was Wednesday the 12th at 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I was 100% effaced and 2 cms dilated, which wasn't that much different from my stats just the week before when I was  60% effaced and 1.5 cms. So I ignored them and decided to go with the flow. 

Katie and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning chatting, laughing, discussing birth and life. We talked about what Maisie might look like, but I remember I couldn't actually imagine it. It was surreal that I was going to finally see her face after dreaming about her for so long. After only a few hours of sleep I woke up at my normal hour of 7 am with now that I think about it, very sure signs I was starting labor, but again I ignored them. We all got ready for the day and headed out for some shopping and brunch. While eating brunch at Via Delizia I started to have contractions. They weren't painful, but they were strong enough that they would move the table up and down. We all would laugh as the table shifted with every contraction. Yet again, I tried to ignore all the signs that could lead to disappointment.

On the way home I started realzing the contractions were different this time around. I wasn't going to admit it out loud yet, but I had a good idea. We were planning on going to Washington Square, but I was feeling pretty crampy and tired so we went home instead. After an hour of being home around 4 o'clock ish I knew this time, without a doubt, it was real deal. I was cleaning up the kitchen when I realized I needed to relax. My body was already so tired from the lack of sleep the night before, so I laid on the couch and started timing my contractions. Which in hindsight I wish I hadn't because I could have been resting, instead of counting and what not. We started discussing dinner plans until I completely lost my appetite. There wasn't one thing I wanted to eat. Things progressed every hour and around 8 o'clock pm I called my midwife to tell her that I was in labor. The contractions were 8-9 minutes apart, very consistant and growing with intensity. I knew it was the real thing, but I also knew it wasn't time to head to the hospital. Another few hours went by and the pain was much more real. I stayed calm and relaxed, but I was growing more and more uncomfortable. Austin called the midwife again around 11:30pm and this time she evaluated me over the phone. This time she could hear the contraction in my voice as I was talking. "Ok, I think you are ready to come in now." I was relieved, but there was no way I wanted to drive all the way to the hospital to be sent home because I wasn't far along enough along blah blah blah, so I toughed it out at home for another 4 hours. I pretty much was in the bath tub the whole time while Austin and Katie tried to get some sleep.

I got out of the bath around 3:30am, put on a night gown and walked into our dark quiet room and sat next to Austin. I rubbed his shoulder and he startled awake. "Are you ok?" he asked me and I reassured him that I was fine, but that it was probably time to get to the hospital. I hugged my sister before we left with all of our bags. I remember her saying that I looked cute and I rolled my eyes. We lived on the third story of our apartment so walking (if that's what you want to call it) down those stairs was quite the feat. After what seemed like an eternity, we got to the car. I remember getting super emotional because this was the last time we were leaving our home as the two of us. That 30+ minute car ride must have been an interesting one for Austin because the whole time I was super irrational. I was hysterically crying the whole time about Katie missing the birth or her "being kidnapped/raped by a cabbie". Since we didn't know the status of labor she was just going to take a cab over early in the morning, so at least one of us could get some sleep.

When we pulled up to labor and delivery I remember that walk being the hardest. It seemed I couldn't go more than a few steps with out a contraction stopping me in my tracks, so I would hold onto Austin until the contraction subsided. I finally got set up into the triage room where I was still recovering from my car ride long panic attack because my blood pressure was through the roof, so the nurse took my blood to make sure I wasn't preeclamptic (which I wasn't). As I continued to sob the nurse thought it was because of pain, but i explained to her I was just nervous/excited/emotional and that while yes the contractions were painful, I was able to get through them. I remember her making a comment somewhere along the lines of "well, if you do end up being admitted" and that's when I informed her that if this wasn't labor I don't know what is. She finished the exam and sure enough I was dilated to a 4 double what I was just the morning before. Plus my contractions were 2 minutes long and 4 minutes apart. I was a little disappointed that I was only at a 4, but my mom has a history of long labors, so I knew I was in for a long one, but a girl can dream right?

At 5:30am and going on 22 hours with no sleep, I was admitted into my wonderful labor suite. I was incredibly tired, but still doing well. I labored in and out of the bath for hours. I would get through my contactions best either in the bath or standing up/walking, but all I wanted to do was lay down and sleep. This feeling got worse has hours passed. After seeing how much I liked being in the bath (I seriously took an insane amount baths in a matter of a few hours) the nurses and midwifes offered to fill up the huge labor tub. It was nice, but it didn't offer as much help as I anticipated, but I was a lot further along now. I remember in the tub, the first feeling of I don't know if I can do this as it was becoming much harder to relax. Even sitting a huge tub with water up to my chin, I was still finding it impossible to slip into the relaxation state. I remember letting my arms float on the water and just focusing on my finger tips as the faucet dripped slow and steady drops of water into the tub. I remember thinking if I can't relax here, in this spot, right now, how am I going to do this? I soaked in there for over an hour praying to could sleep, because a sleep deprived Sammie is useless. 

I got out of the tub at 9 am and at 10 am I had another exam. This time I was 6 cms. I wasn't discouraged, but man only 2 cms in 5 hours?  Austin and I decided it was time Katie came, so after some debate, I was much more comfortable Austin leaving to pick her up rather than her taking a cab. So he left and this is when things became much more difficult. Austin wasn't the most hands on labor partner, but mainly because I didn't want to be touched, at all. He was very calm, concerned and would do what I asked of him, but mainly he kept the room quiet so I could relax. But when he left, I felt weak, exhausted (29 hours of no sleep would make you pretty tired right?)  and tempted to get "the drugs".

I find this so funny now, but as Austin left I turned on the t.v and watched "a baby story" while I myself, was in labor. I don't know if it helped my situation or not, but my labor was pretty close to 24 hours long already and it felt like it was never going to end, so it was good to see someone actually have a baby and not stay pregnant forever. Shortly after the show got over, I was pacing in the room when a midwife came in to check on how I was doing. She recommended some positions to try, one being what I affectionately called the "labor ball of death". I was starting transitional labor when she recommended I give the ball a try. My body was trembling uncontrollably and I truly started to feel like I had no control of my body. My brain was beyond exhausted, but my body obviously was on auto pilot.  It was almost a scary feeling, as well as powerful. I didn't know my body was capable of doing so much. It was incredible. After being on the labor ball for a half hour and fighting to keep myself balanced and in control, I sat in the rocking chair and talked to Austin on the phone. I told him I was thinking about getting an epidural. "My body wont stop shaking. I just want some sleep." He told me they weren't far and we should talk about it together before we decide. I think he knew I felt alone and weak and he wanted me to be in a as-normal-state-of-mind-as-I-could-be-while-in-labor before I decided something that wasn't in our "birth plan". I went to lay down to see if my body would stop shaking and that's when I realized when I would have a contraction it was now impossible to relax through them. It started where I couldn't relax my hands, then legs, back, neck and then the contractions were so painful that I had the urge to hold my breath, which as you could imagine, made things much much worse. I would tell myself to breathe over and over. Even with huge cleansing breaths, I could not get my muscles to stop clenching. I lost control and instead of surrendering, I was full on fighting it. 

Just before Austin and Katie showed up, a nurse came in and I asked her if I do happen to decide to get an epidural how long would it take for it to get here? "Oh 10 minutes" Great news. Chipper Katie walked into the room mid contraction "hello my beautiful sister!" I closed my eyes and shook my head in very short fast movements. No talking. She tried to rub my arm. Again with the head shake. 
No touching. 

After some deliberation at 2pm I decided to get the epidural. And what a shock it was when the same nurse told me that now I had to wait 45 minutes to an hour until the anesthesiologist could come. Ok, that's not what I wanted to hear, I mean that's why I asked how long it would take in the first place right? They decided to do another check because if I was fully dilated then I wouldn't get the epidural. I was at 7.5 cms and the trembling got worse. Finally the anesthesiologist came and Katie left the room while Austin held me still while they slipped the epidural in place. I instantly felt relief as my body stopped shaking, but it took a bit longer to feel the pain of the contractions to subside. There was a section on my lower right side that never became numb, but I liked knowing when I was having contractions. Also they gave me a 1/4 dose of a standard epidural, called a "walking epidural". I could totally move my legs and I know I could have walked around, but obviously I was a liability. So I was confined to the bed, but I found a few positions that really worked for me. Kneeling on the bed while holding the headboard was by far the best. I even fell asleep while in that position and my legs were completely asleep by the time I woke up about an hour later (not from the epidural either, which made us all laugh). 
When I slept Austin and Katie also slept until we were all startled awake...

A couple of nurses ran in and directly started looking at the heart monitor strip. They started bickering "Why isn't she on oxygen?!" Who me? I started to panic as they slipped the oxygen mask over my head "just breathe normally" one said. We all had noticed that Maisie's heart rate was being a little erratic, but were told it was due to the cordless monitoring and my constant moving. They did another cervical check and I was at a 9 and since I wasn't fully dilated and the external monitor wasn't providing accurate readings, they needed to use an internal fetal heart rate monitor. Now Austin and I both remember in our birthing class when they passed around an internal monitor. We both looked at each other and hoped we wouldn't need it because it has tiny (and sharp) spiral claw that is screwed into the surface of the baby's scalp (ouch!). Our teacher informed us that they are rarely used anymore and that we shouldn't worry about it. But with our luck, we had to use one. Great. The worst part is that even with the internal monitor which is by far the most accurate, it was still showing large dips. Which means, it had nothing to do with the monitors the whole time. Maisie's little heart beat really was dropping, which was beyond terrifying.

I changed positions frequently to see if Maisie preferred a side or position, but with every contraction Maisie's once steady heartbeat of 150 would drop to 60-70. I could tell the nurses and midwifes were worried, but they acted calm because I was this close to hyperventilating. I remember feeling like my eyes were going to pop out, I was so scared. After an hour of being on the internal monitor, I was fully dilated. I tried pushing, but when I did her heart rate would drop even lower, now to 40. Everyone advised me to stop pushing, so I did. So there I was fully dilated and couldn't do anything about it. I sat there unable to push for a couple of hours, just waiting to see if she would level out, but it finally got to a point where we couldn't wait any longer. They threatened a c-section, so I pushed with all my might. Katie and Austin would count to ten, but I wouldn't stop pushing until I couldn't any more. I would take a deep breath and again, push for as long and as hard as I could. After 45 minutes, Maisie emerged in front of a large audience. The room was full (and I mean full, 15+ people) of Doctors, Nurses and Midwifes all ready to help Maisie in case of distress (one of the midwife thought the cord was around Maisie's neck and made a call for back up). They all looked at Maisie's healthy pink body, congratulated me and left the room quietly. Maisie didn't cry and Austin and I nervously awaited the anticipated cry, but it didn't come right away. Austin asked if everything was alright and the midwifes with smiles on their faces said "She's perfect! She's pink and getting oxygen just fine."  (I think they were just as happy Maisie was alright as we were) As I experienced euphoria (seriously people, I get why people do drugs now) Maisie just stared right into my eyes, completely content and completely beautiful. Maisie laid skin to skin on my chest for an hour, before any one else held her, or did her exam. I remember saying over and over "she's so pretty" when that reminded the nurse, that we hadn't looked to make sure if she was actually girl. We all laughed as I looked under the blanket to confirm she was in fact a little Maisie.

Turns out Maisie had a super short umbilical cord, so that's the reason her heart rate progressively dipped, the more she descended, the more stress was put on the cord and in turn caused Maisie's heart rate to lower. In order for them to place Maisie in my arms Austin had to cut the umbilical cord right away (weird huh?). I have never heard of that before, but I am glad that regardless of the last hours of labor being super stressful (on both Maisie and me) everything turned out just fine. Nurses ended up telling me after that I was almost wheeled out for an emergency c-section at least 3 times, which seems crazy now because Maisie ended up with a 99.9 APGAR.
 She really was perfect.

It was the most defining moment in my life and I can't wait to watch her grow into the little person she will be. It was an eventful (just shy of 31 hour) experience, but very much worth it. 
Welcome to the world my precious little Maisie!

Maisie Claire Lee
Born May 14th, 2010
@ 6:50pm
Seven pounds even
19.5 Inches long

birth day

birth day 2

Friday, July 2, 2010

Love at first sight...

I never believed in that expression until seven weeks ago. I remember when my mid-wife placed Maisie on my chest how overcome I was with pure joy. I was laughing and crying from sheer bliss. That was by far was the happiest moment of my life. Nothing else mattered except for my little family. In that moment I wasn't thinking about pain, money or even modesty (as I was fully exposed for the crowd of Doctors, Nurses and Mid-wives that flooded my room in case Maisie needed some extra help). I had my little girl in my arms and that was all that mattered.

From about the 8th week of my pregnancy on I had reoccurring dreams that the baby that was growing inside me was a little girl. I never called her a girl though... she was always just "baby". Oh and for a short time we called her "Pat" after the Saturday night live character where you never knew if "it" was a boy or a girl haha! But in my heart I knew. I remember the Ultrasound Tech asked if wanted to know. Austin and I looked at each other and at the same time said "Yes!" She was having a hard time finding a good angle and the suspense was killing us! She finally got the money shot, hit print screen and told us we were having a baby girl. We were so happy! Either way we would have been, but having my feelings confirmed was a great feeling. I then asked the tech how sure she was. She said 99.9 % I smiled and then asked "How long have you been doing this?" She said 18 years.... phew... a sigh of relief.

After that day I was thinking of all the memories I loved as a little girl. Katie and I picking flowers, baking cookies, putting bows in our hair, playing tea party and dress up. These are all things that I want Maisie to do. Being a girl is so much fun, but having a baby girl is even better! Everything is just so cute and puts a smile on your face. Thus this blog was inspired. My goal for this blog is to broaden my skills and to learn new ones by making crafts, following new recipes, trying new things, and while doing this I will be showering my daughter with all the love I can give. I want to be the mom who knows a little about everything. Who can sew a hem, knit a blanket, grow a garden, cook a delicious meal and make my home feel like a home to all who enter it. Being a mother is a wonderful thing!

So, here I go with every new thing I set out to accomplish if it be a craft, a recipe or a big project I will post my progress and my finished result (that is if it's not embarrassingly terrible). Plus expect weekly updates of little Maisie and what she is up to!