Sunday, December 8, 2013

Penelope's 1 Month Update!

I'm a day late here, but yesterday Penelope turned 1 month old!  I can't believe its been a month, yet at the same time, its been a long month! 

Every time I see this fox stuffed animal I feel like saying, "What does the fox say?" LOL
The first 2 weeks after Penelope was born, my mom stayed with me so it was amazing to have her help!  I'm the youngest of 6 kids so I definitely welcomed her advice and know-how with open arms.  I thought 2 weeks sounded like a long time at first, but those 2 weeks flew by and when it was time for her to leave, I couldn't believe it!  I was sad but I thought...I got this. I can handle this! 

Well, I think the hardest weeks were 2-3.  I was on my own for the first time with Penelope...all day.  I couldn't leave the house because she wasn't vaccinated yet {and still is not since she doesn't get those until she's 2 months old} so I was just inside the house with her 24/7.  And she started to become a fussy baby during the 3rd week.  She was great before that but all of a sudden she had some bad days where all she did was cry and those turned into bad nights where she kept me up until like 4am crying. 

It was a hard adjustment needless to say, but I feel like I got through it!  I still feel like I'm "weathering the storm" since she's only 4 weeks old but I do feel better than I did last week.  I am very lucky that I do have an easy baby {as easy as a baby can be..} She likes her sleep and has only kept us up during the night a handful of times.  I find that she doesn't want to go to bed until late but once I get her asleep....she's good the rest of the night!  She'll wake up for feedings {going 4-6 hours in between them at night now} and she'll go right back to sleep.  I usually don't have to stay up rocking her which is great! 

It was a challenge to learn how to keep her awake during the day because I think she was sleeping too much during the day--leading to her staying awake at night.  There's only so much you can do with a newborn to keep them entertained so we play on her playmat and I walk her around the house so she can look around but that's about all you can do.  I'm sooo looking forward to her becoming more interactive!

I've only left the house with her a few times when I've had to but I can't wait until I can take her out more!  I know I can, but I would just feel better if she was vaccinated before I really take her places.  So right now, I'm really chained to my house but whenever John is around or has a day off....I take advantage of that and go to the mall or do my grocery shopping then.  Getting out is key to staying sane for sure!

Oh, we also celebrated Penelope's first holiday and Thanksgiving during this month!  She wore her turkey onesie and basically slept the whole day but here are a couple photos:

Stay tuned for Penelope's newborn photos coming this week!  Hope you all had a great weekend!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Penelope's Birth Story

I cannot believe my sweet Penelope is already going to be 1 month old soon!  Where has the time gone? On the other hand, holy cow...this has been a LONG 1 month!  I knew having a baby was going to be tough, but I feel like until I actually had Penelope-I didn't actually know how tough it would be!  Everyone says it gets better around 6 weeks so I'm just looking towards that right now.  For now, here are the deets with how my labor went down...

On Wednesday, November 6th, I got woken up at 4:45AM by my husband's alarm.  Side note: I don't know why I started calling him Doc on here but I'm going to refer to him by his real name, John, from now on!  Normally his alarm doesn't wake me up, but for some reason it did on this day and once I was up, I realized I was feeling crampy.  I had what felt like mild menstrual cramps, but I wasn't sure if it was just Braxton Hicks contractions so I laid there and waited.  Well 2 hours later, I still could not fall back to sleep and was still having these pains so I decided to just get up and change what I was doing to see if that made the pains go away.  I had my breakfast and sat on the couch and still the pains did not go away so I called John and my mom to let them know what I was feeling.  My mom was like yup, sounds like its the beginnging of contractions! She said go shower and get what you need done now because I think you're having this baby today. 

My mom's flight was scheduled for the next day {my due date}, but once she realized what was happening, she promptly changed it to come in that night.  My in-laws live 3 hours away so they had already planned on driving in that day, so I went about my day and prepared to have lunch with them. Once they arrived, John was able to get out of work so we all went to lunch.  At this point, the pains I was feeling had gone away for a couple hours but once we went to lunch, they came back.  They started to get a little stronger and felt like they were coming in waves but they weren't defined enough that I could time them {we tried but they were still too mild}

Around 4:45PM, the pains were definitely getting worse and it was at this point that I was like yea, ok...I'm going into labor!  I called my OB and she was like well, we're really looking for contractions that you can't talk through {which I obviously wasn't having yet} so she told me to go for a walk and call them back in an hour to let them know how I was feeling.  John and I put our coats on and walked around my neighborhood for the next hour.  By the end of our walk, I had to keep stopping every 5 minutes or so because a contraction would come and it was getting painful!  We called my OB back and she was still not totally convinced I was ready but since I live so close to the hospital, she told me to come in anyway and see if I had made any progress. 

On Monday of this week, I was 4cm dilated and about 90-100% effaced already so I was sure I had made more progress.  Nope! When I got to the hospital, I went into triage and I was still only 4cm dilated.  My OB asked if I could walk around for another hour or two and then come back.  My contractions were painful at this point but not TOO painful that I couldnt walk around so I said yes, I'll do some walking. 

John and I walked around the hospital for the next 45 minutes and let me tell you...I thought my contractions were painful BEFORE? Now they were so bad, I had my head buried into the walls of the hospital, crying....yea now I knew what the OB was talking about!  We headed back up to triage, and I had progressed to 5cm so they finally admitted me and the whole process really got started!

They offered me some pain medication that I promptly took, but it didn't seem to help much {it only made me feel loopy and giggly} so I got my epidural shortly after.  I had always planned to have an epidural so I wanted to make sure I got it before it got too late.  I don't know how some women do this without an epidural! 

Once I got the epidural, I was feeling GREAT! I totally lost track of time at this point, but all of a sudden my mom and in laws walked in {which surprised me that they were already there...I thought it was way earlier in the night then it was} so we got to sit and spend some time with them before it was time to push.  Then, I got to pushing and I think I pushed for about 3 hours.  It felt like an eternity until Penelope's head came out.  I was sooooooo exhausted at this point because I had been up since 4:45am and it was around 3am now.  I pushed and pushed and pushed with everything I had and I was really surprised by how much pain I still felt with an epidural!  That was one thing I did not expect!  Penelope finally came out and it was amazing to see her little face on my chest.  She came out with the biggest cry ever and luckily was completely healthy!

In the end, my labor was about 8 1/2 hours which isn't too bad for a first time mom!  My poor mom and in-laws were so tired by the time Penelope was born, but they were troopers and stayed up!

I'll be back with an update on Penelope and how this first month has been! 
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