Saturday, March 19, 2011


Our goal was to get out of the hospital sometime Saturday morning, and we made it---but just barely.  Kaylie's discharge came through with out any trouble, and if it had been just her, we would have gotten out of there a lot earlier.  They hemmed and hawed a bit about letting me go, but in the end they told me to just make a follow up appointment and sent us on our way.

Kaylie's discharge weight was 7lbs 4oz.  It surprised me that her weight had dropped so much, but she's steadily gaining it back.  (I took her for a weight check on Monday morning, and she was already back up to 7lbs 8oz.  She has another one this Monday, to make sure she's still gaining like she should be.)  She looks so teeny tiny in her car seat; it's hard to remember Elora being dwarfed like this.

When we got home with Kaylie, Elora came running to greet us at the door.  Or, more specifically, she came running to greet her baby sister.

I had no idea that Brandon had gotten all that on video with his phone until later, but I am so glad that he did!  I look terrible--please pay no attention to me in the video.  But I had to share it, it's just too sweet not to.

helping Daddy play Fable II

Since then, we've just been lazing about, getting to know one another and adjusting to the changes in our family.  Brandon is on paternity leave until next Friday, which has been wonderful.  He's gone out of his way to spend time with Elora, making sure that her needs are met and that she hasn't felt left out so that I have been able to rest and focus on Kaylie.  We trade off when we can, but resting and nursing has taken up most of my time. 

Elora seems to be adjusting well, so far.  We were told to expect a "honeymoon period" of about two weeks before Elora starts to get bored and jealous.  We're about halfway through that time now; I wonder how it will go?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In the Postpartum Ward

They got us moved over to the Postpartum ward around 10 or so, and Rebekah got there with Elora round 1.  (The intervening time was spent with my new nurse, getting the run down on what to expect, and getting lunch.)  I wish I had a picture of Elora as she was first walking in.  She had a bouquet of roses clutched in one hand, a bunch of balloons in the other, and she had a huge smile on her face as she said "Mama!!!!!"  It was so sweet I almost couldn't stand it.  But if my head (or my heart) were going to explode from over-exposure to extreme cuteness, the hospital would be a good place for it, right?

Elora was immediately taken with her baby sister.  She wanted to touch her, and kiss her, and identify all the parts of her face.  Then we let her "hold" Kaylie, with lots of help from me. After that, that's all she wanted to do.   She kept holding out her arms and saying "Hold it!" (She's now learned to say "hold her".)

The three of them stayed until 7 or 8 that evening, and then they had to leave.   Both Bran and Rebekah had to work on Friday, and while Brandon could have stayed with me, Elora could not.  I'd expected to spend the night catching up on rest, but that just didn't happen.  Between feeding Kaylie, and the endless parade of doctors and nurses throughout the night, I didn't sleep much.  Fortunately, though, I did get to sleep in the morning.

 Brandon didn't fare much better at home.  Elora didn't sleep well, and so neither did he.  He told me that she woke up screaming for me in the middle of the night, and pulled him from room to room in the house looking for me.  (It made me feel warm and fuzzy that she missed me, and terrible that she was so upset, all at the same time.)  Then they --yes, they-- were up at 5, getting ready for work.  Brandon had a few things to wrap up in the class that he was taking, and in the absence of someone to keep Elora, he had little choice but to take her with him.  He did what he needed to quickly, then headed home to change out of his uniform and to wait for the morning traffic to die down before coming back to the hospital.

He and Elora got there shortly before 11, and spent the entire day with me.  I was excited for them to get there-- not only because I'd missed them, but also because I finally got to take a shower once Bran was there to keep an eye on Kaylie.  I always fell better after a shower, but I don't think that I have ever felt so refreshed and rejuvenated by a shower as I did that day.  (Except, perhaps, my first shower after Elora was born.)

Elora was so good!  It's hard enough for an adult to be stuck in a hospital room for hours, let alone a (nearly) 2 year old.  She played with "my" balloons, she watched the little mini TV, she teased to hold Kaylie.  Late in the afternoon, Kaylie took a nice long nap in her bassinet, Brandon fell asleep on the pull-out cot, and Elora climbed up on the bed with me and fell asleep drinking her juice.  I was the last one to fall asleep, but it gave me a chance to look around at my family and enjoy the moment.  I think it's one of those that I will treasure for a long time to come.

Rebekah and Josh came by Friday evening to visit for a bit, and they took Elora with them so that Brandon could stay with me that night.  I was worried about Elora being without us again, but it was wonderful to have Brandon with me all night.  We fell asleep that night curled up together, and I can't tell you how nice it was to be able to snuggle up to him without my giant belly in the way.  I think it did the both of us good to be able to just hold one another for a while.  And, as it turned out, Elora and Rebekah were fine.

Hearts for Japan

My friend Jenny over at Pearlswirl Journals has has a big heart. She's designed these sweet little Hearts for Japan necklaces

and all proceeds from the sale of these necklaces in her Etsy shop will be donated to aid in the relief efforts.  Even better, all proceeds from all sales made in her shop during the next month will be donated as well.  You can check out the details on her blog or at her Etsy site.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Labor and Delivery

I didn't go into active labor on my own, so we went back to the hospital and checked into Labor and Delivery around lunch time on the 9th.  By mid-afternoon, they had me settled into a L&D room with the Pitocin running.

We had Elora with us all afternoon.  She was really good, considering that we were there for 3 or 4 hours without any of her toys (we'd thought she'd be in a day care facility, until they told us we could keep her with us) before Rebekah came to pick her up.  Rebekah stayed to visit for a few hours, then collected Elora and headed to the house for a slumber-party.

Sometime around 8, I think, the anesthesiologist came in to do my epidural.  About an hour after that they broke my water.  The rest of the night was just a waiting game, punctuated by dilation checks every few hours (those were a lot more pleasant after they got the epidural going, let me tell you!) and frequent adjustments to the fetal monitors because Kaylie wouldn't hold still.


Brandon and I both slept between interruptions, which surprised me.  I was having regular contractions, but thanks to the epidural, I was only aware of them if I paid attention.  Brandon didn't even realize that I'd finally gone into active labor until I was ready to start pushing, because I was so relaxed.  When it was time to push, I felt completely serene.   That didn't last through the whole delivery, but it lasted through most of it, and it was wonderful.

I started pushing at 6:25 on the 10th; Kaylie was born at 7:08.  My serenity evaporated in the last 15 minutes or so, to be replaced by agony.  I'm not sure if there was a problem with the epidural, or if I'd become accustomed to it, or if it's always that way, but it wasn't at all fun.  They ended up calling the anesthesiologist back in to give me something stronger after she was born because I was in so much pain. I can't complain, because it was only about 30 minutes to an hour out of hours and hours that I could have been hurting, but wasn't. 

I don't believe I have ever been so grateful to live in our age of modern medicine.  I cannot imagine going through that without the security of well trained doctors and effective pain control.  If anything, that 30 minutes taught me to be even more grateful.

Brandon was great through the whole thing.  He was very quiet; he just held my hand and did as the doctors and I directed to help move things along.  He saw a lot more of the process than I'd intended for him to see, but I ended up not minding and neither did he.  He got to cut the cord when she was born, which is something that he didn't get to do with Elora.  

I do wish that things had been a bit calmer after she was born.  There are no pictures of him holding her, and I hate that.  We had a good hour after Elora was born for just the three of us to sit and spend time together once they finished my sutures, and even then, Brandon held her next to my face while they did that, so it went really quickly.  This time, it was completely chaotic.  There was the afterbirth to see about, I was in a lot of pain, and there were a ton of people in and out of the room taking care of things.  (Apparently, I delivered her right at shift change time, and that accounted for a lot of the confusion.)  Once things finally died down, I started to shiver uncontrollably.  They piled heated sheets and blankets on me, but I continued to shiver so badly that I could barely talk, much less eat or try to hold or nurse Kaylie.  Then it was time to move to the postpartum ward, and we had to get all checked in and settled there...
But that is for another post.  The important thing is that my Kaylie girl is finally here, and my little "fambly" of three is now officially an fambly of four.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Introducing Kaylie Renee

Born 7:08 am on March 10, 2011
7 pounds, 15 ounces; 20.75 inches.

We're home now, so I will be able to post more--tomorrow.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Last Pre-Baby Post??

 So much for coming out of the weekend with a baby.  I'm still pregnant and still antsy, but all I can do is wait.  I have my last (!) prenatal check up tomorrow afternoon, and since the doc made it clear last time that I need to deliver before my due date, I know that we'll be scheduling an induction at that time.  They may even want to get me checked in right then and there, so I'm going to bring my bag just in case.

Unless I go into active labor on my own before then.  But, since I've been in latent (and sometimes false) labor for the better part of a week, with no signs of progressing any further, I'm not going to hold my breath.  Either way, though, my next post should be filled with pictures of the new baby Gager, with her name featured in the title.   (No promises on how soon that'll be, you might have to be patient.)

***March 8 Update:   As of this afternoon, I've dilated to nearly 4cm, and the doc is optimistic that things will progress on their own. If they don't, and I haven't gone into active labor by about midday tomorrow, he said to come back and check into Labor and Delivery, and they will help to movie things along.  So it looks like one way or another, I'll be having this baby in the next day or so.***

The delay, though, has given us time to get the nursery done!  (Well, for now, anyway.  I have a few things in mind for down the road, but I always have a few things in mind.  I'm just excited to have gotten done everything I wanted to before Elora's roommate arrives.)  Here is 360° around the room, starting at the closet and working around to the left.

There are still some pretty glaring bare spots on the walls; we'll fill those in as time goes on. The wood toy box (made by my grandfather) is full of stuffed animals and baby dolls.

The dresser I picked out got here on Tuesday, and Brandon got it put together that night.  It matches the crib perfectly!  (I was a little worried, since I'd ordered it online.).  I do wish that I'd spent the extra $40 and gotten the 5 drawer dresser, but this one is working out fine.  He put those white shelves up for me last night, and I finished getting all the knick-knacks situated this morning.

Eventually, I'd like to replace the changing table with one that matches the crib and dresser.  This one is pretty beat up, but for now, it serves the purpose.  I'm hoping to get to a pottery shop shortly after the baby gets here to get a plate made with her foot print, to join the lonely-looking plate and canvas up above it.  The bottom shelf is now home to the 2 canvas toy bins: one for Elora's toys, and one for the baby's. 

This is the corner that still needs its second coat of paint.  We'll get to that, one of these days.  The growth chart was in the latest box of goodies from Gigi, too cute!  I had to hang it right away, and then get Elora's first measurement (just over 32") on there.

This book toy shelf will probably end up out in the hallway, right outside her door.  We have some more things coming up from Florida, and we're definitely going to need to shift some things around to make room.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Things Are Happening!

As of Wednesday afternoon, I was 3cm dilated and the doctor said she could feel the baby's head in place.  Since then, I've been having periodic contractions, and a whole host of "early labor" symptoms, but no signs of active labor.  It feels like I must be getting close, but that could just be because I'm getting antsy.

Really antsy.  I've packed my bag for the hospital, packed a little diaper bag for the baby, done the laundry, changed our sheets, re-read the labor & delivery section of What to Expect, resisted the urge to clean the floors, and done a lot of resting.  Tomorrow, if I'm still waiting for active labor to kick in, we're going to the Commissary to stock the pantry and freezer.  (Otherwise, Brandon will go on his own.  I know we should have done that before I got to this point, but this kind of sneaked up on us.  After all, I'm not due until next weekend, and this is our regular stock-up-at-the-Commissary weekend.)

Anyway, chances are very good that we will come out of this weekend with a baby.  We haven't chosen her name yet, so we will be announcing that along with her birth.  All love, luck, prayers and blessings sent our way will be welcomed!