Monday, March 31, 2008

First Month

Coming home from the hospital was completely terrifying. I was just waiting for security to stop us and tell the two of us we were not allowed to take this tiny baby home. I think what scared us the most was her prematurity. She had to spend her first night in the NICU because she was having trouble with her breathing, especially figuring out how to breath and eat at the same time. Once she was able to show that she could eat without dropping her oxygen saturation into the 70's, they let her come back to our room. Knowing something is wrong with your baby and watching them take her away was one of the hardest things I have experienced.

Once at home, we had to continue supplementing her with formula since she had a nice case of jaundice - she was our little mellow yellow. You never realize how yellowish they looked until you start looking back at pictures of them. Belle went to the doctor at 1 week old for her jaundice and weight check. She was at 5 pounds 10 ounces, and our pediatrician said that was excellent for everything she had going against her.

The best thing that first month was watching Belle discover things. She slowly went from screaming bloody murder with her bath to deciding that it wasn't TOO terrible. The first time we put her under her floor gym and she was very alert, her expression was priceless. You would have thought that we had laid the entire world before her. She made what we call her "model" face, and you must always insert the sound effect "oooooooooooooo" with the face. It was just amazing to see her become so aware of the world around her.
We wrapped her first month up with the onset of colic. The colic set in right at 3 weeks, just like those books tell you. It is tough!! I guess that I would rather go through colic with the first baby than the second. The screaming for hours on end will really do a number on you.
The little "mellow yellow" leaving the hospital room

Belle's First Bath

The well known "model" face

One Month Birthday

Her size at one-month

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Last 10 Weeks

Crazy. Wild. Wonderful. That is the best way to describe what the past ten weeks of adjusting to parenthood have been like. I think no matter how prepared and ready you are to become a parent, you are never truly "ready". Since so much has occurred in our lives these last ten weeks, I will take this week to catch everyone (all 2 readers) up!

January 15, 2008
Four weeks away from my due date and only two days after my baby shower at church, I had no idea that Belle would decide to arrive. I guess in hindsight I should not have been so surprised. I had been contracting for quite some time. I had even won a lovely admission to my unit for a little blood pressure issues and pre-term labor. Some people say I was just trying to get out of my shift.

The night before I went into labor, it was almost as if I knew it was just around the corner. I had gotten all settled in bed ready to nod off, and all of the sudden I jumped up and decided I needed to take a shower. Who decides as they are falling asleep that they need a shower? Also, all day long, I repeatedly told Mark that I was over this. I think my official phrase that day was "ding! my timer is up". From what I was able to see beyond the bump, I had developed some serious, and I mean SERIOUS "cankles". It was just that point in pregnancy where you think it is never, ever going to end - you honestly think you might eternally be pregnant! At 3:45am I woke up and thought my water had broken. I will spare you all the lovely details, but in my haze of sleepiness I wasn't really sure exactly what had happened. About two steps later, I was pretty certain that this was the real deal. The bag was already packed and I knew that I wasn't contracting, so I calmly got myself ready to head down to the hospital while Mark frantically ran around the house telling me we needed to leave. You think he would leave the whole labor thing up to the expert - ;).

Upon arriving to the hospital, the admission was quick -- there are many conveniences to being a labor and delivery nurse -- I had already filled out all my paperwork. Things were progressing very slowly, so the midwife decided to start me on some pitocin to get things going. Things continued to go pretty slowly even though the smallest amount of pitocin was making me have very strong contractions (based on the internal monitor). I held out getting the epidural until about 2:45 that afternoon. I figured that I had withstood eleven hours without it so I deserved a little rest. At 3:30pm the midwife checked and things were just not moving the way they should. I knew at this point that I was most likely going to be a C-Section -- the nurse curse! At 7:15ish they came to check me to decide whether or not to call the c/s. Much to everyone's amazement I was completely dilated and Belle was very low.

After they got the room set-up for delivery, it was time to get things going. Belle was positioned the wrong-way, occiput posterior - her face was in the wrong direction. The midwife did some tricks to get Belle to turn the correct direction while I was pushing. After only 23 minutes of pushing the most beautiful, tiny, petite baby was delivered!

Belle Candler Reiboldt
January 15, 2008 at 8:07 pm
5 pounds 15 ounces
19 inches

First Family Picture
What a cutie!