Thursday, June 16, 2011

2 weeks

Gemma turned 2 weeks old last Sunday and we had her 2 week well baby check-up appointment on Monday. It went well, but I certainly have some things to learn about taking a baby places!  I had fed her a "snack" before we left hoping that would get us through the appointment.  Not so.  The doctor was running late as usual and they gave me a bunch of paperwork to fill out while I waited. Gemma must've been pretty hungry because she wailed and I've never heard her do that before!  So, I covered up with a receiving blanket and started to feed her. Then, she promptly (and loudly!) filled her pants.  About a minute later the nurse called her name.  Oi!  The nurse graciously gave us a couple of minutes to finish up. I'm not sure how I can exactly avoid this in the future, but I'm prepared for it to happen again.

Gemma gained almost a pound  and grew an inch since we brought her home!

Her stats are:

Weight: 6 lbs 15 oz. (31%)
Length: 20.5 inches (85%)
Head: 13 3/4 inches (55%)

And here are a few new photos of her.  She wasn't quite 2 weeks old in these, but probably about a week and a half.

Daddy trying to get Gemma to nerd it up with him!

Wide awake!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Longest post ever.  This is your warning. :)

The number of hours I was in labor.  Yes, 31.  What the heck?  I think my body was trying to break all sorts of records with this pregnancy.  First, I got to be in the 1% of women who get the PUPPPs rash, and then I have 31 hours of labor.  I read somewhere that the average first labor is 17 hours.

On Saturday morning I was determined to get things going.  Jeff and I took Harper on a brisk 3 mile walk.  We ran into my doctor who lives about 5 blocks from us.  She was packing up her car to go to Des Moines for the weekend.  She told me she'd be back by noon on Sunday, so if I went into to labor make sure the nurses called her.

Well, my walk must've worked because I started having contractions later on that day. I was taking a nap with my first baby, Harper, when I woke up to contractions at about 2:30.  I wasn't getting too excited since I'd had a couple of contractions the week before and it turned out to be nothing.  Lo and behold, these contractions stuck.  They were about 10 minutes apart.  My goal was to stay at home as long as possible.  So, I did a few loads of laundry and cleaned up the house.  Jeff and I went out to dinner.  (We actually ended up running into my cousin and I think I did a pretty good job of hiding my pain mid-conversation when I'd have a contraction.)  We took Harper on a walk over to my friend, Katie's house.  Katie was sure I'd have the baby that night as my contractions were about 5 minutes apart at the time. (HA!)

Finally, at about 11:30 pm, we decided to head to the hospital. My contractions were 3-4 minutes apart.  We called our doula and headed to the emergency room.  We got checked in and I got checked out. I was shocked when the nurse told me I was only 2 cm dialated.  I got the slushies, walked the halls, and sat on the exercise ball.  The contractions were still going strong and probably about 2-3 minutes apart.  Finally, at 8:30 am Sunday morning, the nurse asked me if I wanted my water broken.  I hesitated, but she highly recommended it.  Dr. Benson was called and he came and broke my water at about 9 am.  (The nurse said it doesn't hurt to have your water broken, but she was mistaken.  Dr. Benson gave me 6 good pokes and it DOES hurt!)

After my water was broken, my contractions were extremely intense.  They were coming about a minute and a half apart and each contraction lasted 50 seconds.  They were so strong, I started dry heaving through them.  This went on for about 3 hours until I asked to be checked again.  Surely, I was going through transition labor and would be at least a 6 or a 7.  Not so.  I was only 4 cm, MAYBE a 5 said the nurse.  I immediately started crying.  I could not make it through another 21 hours of labor.  I requested an epidural and then cried some more.  I was so disappointed that I was giving up and not going to have an all-natural labor.  My doula said she agreed with my decision and thought that I requested the epidural at the right time.

The epidural was scary, but at the same time I was so relieved to not have to be in pain anymore. I think I even slept for 10 minutes here and there.  Eventually the nurses told me that my contractions were not strong enough, so they were going to give me some pitocin to get things moving more quickly.  (What?! Are you kidding me?  Those contractions could not have gotten any stronger in my opinion.)  At that point, I really didn't care.  I wasn't going to feel anything.  Give me whatever you want.

At 5 p.m. I was 9 cm dialated and when they checked me, they found that my dear little baby had decided to turn sunny side up.  Could I get on my hands and knees on the bed and use the exercise ball to try to rotate the baby?  Sure.  Why not?  Gah!!  Just when I thought I was almost done.  When you can't feel anything below your waist and you've already labored naturally for 21 hours, the simplest thing like moving your hips in a circular motion seems like a big deal.  I did as I was asked and was checked an hour later.  I had moved the baby!  But not far enough...I should try to move the baby again.  I said fine, but that I needed a break because I was tired.  They checked me again at 7 pm and the baby had moved on its own.  I was dialated to a 9-10!

The nurses called my doctor and got me prepped to start pushing.  Holy crap. I could feel when I was going to have a contraction, so the pushing went pretty well.  I pushed a few times and was doing really well.  I looked at Jeff and asked him what we were going to name our little boy.  We still had not decided on a boy name and were sure it was a boy.  Jeff had said that after watching me go through everything, that I could just name him.  To which I replied, wouldn't you just be shocked if it were a girl?  After only 45 minutes of pushing, we had our little baby girl!  I think we laughed in disbelief when the doctor said "it's a girl!"  Gemma Lorraine was born on 5/29 at 8:14 pm.

Gemma was quiet when she was born.  The nurses had to make her cry, but she was completely fine. (She's still not a big crier.)  She was extremely alert and just stared at me the whole time during our kangaroo care, and she even latched on right away to nurse and gulped like a champ.  I'm glad she knew what to do because I sure didn't!

Gemma is the sweetest little baby ever and we can't imagine our lives without her now.  Jeff says she looks like an Asian version of me.  I think she does have my nose, but I'm not sure about the rest.  Only time will tell I suppose!  She was definitely worth the 31 hours of labor and the 21 hours of pain.  She still might be an only child, though. :)  Ask me in a year.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gemma Lorraine Lin

Gemma Lorraine Lin arrived on Sunday, May 29 at 8:14 pm.  She weighed 6 lbs. 4 oz. and measured 19.5 inches long. 

Our little angel. She was very alert when she was born.

Our mischieveous little girl

Harper is adjusting well. She loves her new little sister/

I'll try to get better at blogging, but I'm still adjusting to my new sleep schedule, breastfeeding, and keeping up with the house! Not to mention that our days are still filled with lots of fun visitors. :)