Loves: mat time on your back, crib and swing mobiles, anything that lights up, Violet (your Leapfrog dog that sings and has a collar that lights up), chewing on your hands
Hates: tummy time, waiting for your bottle to warm up
Milestones: On 2/2/17 you moved around your first rattle with assistance from the chair, on 2/6/17 you grabbed your first toy and moved it up to your mouth and proceeded to chew on it. And so it begins! You started smiling before your first month, but this month you really recognize everyone and smile when you see me come get you in the mornings or from a nap. Around the 7 week mark, you started going to bed for the night between 10pm-11pm and sleep until 5am-7am. It has been glorious!!! You have also been staying up longer stretches during the day, and taking less naps in general.
Clothing: I started packing away your newborn sized things around 7 weeks. You are getting to be too long for the items that had feet in them. You still fit in to two or three pairs of your newborn pants without any feet. Mostly you are wearing 0-3 month sized items, and a few 3 month things. Most 3 month things fit you length-wise but you are swimming in them otherwise.
Feeding: You take anywhere from 3 to 6 ounces when you have a bottle. Usually it is 6 ounces when you wake up in the morning, and mostly 4 ounce bottles every 2-3 hours during the day if you are awake. If you happen to take a long day nap, it is 5-6 ounces when you wake up!
Looks: Your eyes keep getting a lighter and lighter shade of blue, and your hair has gotten a little lighter too.
There are so many things I want to remember from the last month!!!
–How much you love laying on the changing table and having conversations with me. After I get your diaper changed and get you dressed again, I give you four kisses. One on your right cheek, then your forehead, then your left cheek then you always open your mouth real big like you are kissing me back! It is the sweetest thing!!!!
–The most dramatic way that you grunt when you are stretching, or eating, or sleeping. It is adorable.
–The way you loudly suck on your pacifier when you’re mad that it isn’t your bottle. Sometimes you even give me an angry look while doing it and furrow your brow.
–How you play with your hair when you are falling asleep.
–The huge smile that spreads across your face when you recognize me when you wake up in the mornings and I am coming in to get you. Melts my heart every time!!!!!
–When you try to talk to us and you sound like a little owl with a “who” sound.
–How you smile and give almost a little giggle noise when I open your diaper and find poo.
–The way you scrunch your shoulders when you smile real big.
–The way you tap your fingers on your bottle while you drink.
–When you lay down for mat play, you become obsessed with your dresser drawer handle and get frustrated because you can’t figure out how to move your arm to reach for it yet.
When you are pregnant or have a newborn, you learn very quickly that everyone and their mom wants to impart their wisdom on you. Sometimes the advice is welcomed, but most of the time it isn’t. I am not sure what it is about being pregnant and having babies, but people are so judgy and have an opinion about everything!!!
Before I got pregnant, I had in my mind what it might be like to be pregnant. I knew that it wasn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows. I had a sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t going to be one of those women that just loved to be pregnant. People would tell me, oh I miss being pregnant! I thought it was total crap. But I get it now.
To be honest, looking back on my whole pregnancy, I was lucky. Sure, the first few months were a little hard because I was a nervous wreck second guessing every cramp or feeling that would be different. I was emotional and tired AF!!! But the middle? It was sort of fun. I got back some of my energy and I really started nesting. I loved the nesting phase, I got a lot of shit done!!! And when I started feeling those baby kicks??? It was the most amazing thing I have ever felt in my life. The last month??? Sucked major balls. Major balls. I was so miserable the last month I honestly didn’t know how I was going to make it most days. I was slammed at work, I felt like shit, I could barely get around, I wasn’t sleeping and I was just ready for baby to get here. And the swelling. Dear Lord, the swelling!!! No one told me that the swelling would actually hurt.
Everyone jokes about how new parents don’t sleep. This is nothing to joke about. The first three weeks were rough with capital woof! I felt like I was constantly feeding, pumping or burping the baby. I couldn’t sleep because the baby wasn’t sleeping much. I couldn’t sleep because I was constantly checking on her to make sure she was ok and breathing. I couldn’t sleep because I knew there was a million things that needed to be done around the house. Do you see where I am going with this? Yes, it is all normal. But what people don’t tell you is how this makes you an emotional basket case. I can’t tell you the number of times I broke down and cried since bringing Zoe home. I thought, why does anyone have a second kid???
Finally, around the fifth week she started sleeping four hours straight in the night and I actually slept. It was like I was a whole new person after three or four days of four hours of sleep! But I was still crying.
Now I cry because I love Zoe so much that it literally hurts.
Now I cry because seven weeks have gone by and she is getting bigger and I already miss how tiny she was just a few weeks before.
Now I cry as I put her newborn sized clothes in a box because she is too long for them.
Now I cry because I have to go back to work and I cant imagine being away from this little girl for even five minutes, yet alone a whole work day.
Now I cry because one day Zoe is going to come home from school upset because someone hurt her feelings.
Now I cry because one day someone is going to break her heart.
Now I cry when I go to pick Zoe up first thing in the morning and her frown turns into a huge smile when she sees me and I think, will she always smile like this when she sees me?
Now I cry because I am a huge sap.
Don’t take this the wrong way. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life, I don’t think I have postpartum depression or anything like that. I think this is just the way all new moms probably feel? The thing is, people don’t talk about this. No one told me I was going to cry this much!!! Ok, that isn’t true. Laura actually warned me that this was going to happen, but she was the only one!
I know before I got pregnant I thought that going back to work wouldn’t be that big of a deal. That I would probably look forward to the break during the day and adult interaction. I don’t feel that way at all. Before I got pregnant, I didn’t understand how women could say that they missed being pregnant. I thought, who would miss being that large and uncomfortable. But now I know that amazing connection that only you have with your baby as you carry it for 40 weeks and feel the heartbeat from within. Feel the kicks, the punches, the rolls, the hiccups.
I sat in the chair last night rocking my hiccuping Zoe to sleep, crying because it reminded me of how her hiccups felt inside my tummy. You know, because crying is just a part of life now.
On January 4th you turned a month old. An entire month has gone by already and I am sitting here scratching my head wondering how?! These last four weeks have been quite a whirlwind, but in the best way possible. I am trying to soak in every last moment I can and bank it in my memory because I know the years go by entirely too fast. I have had so many moms tell me that they can’t even remember their children being this little anymore and I don’t want to forget all the little moments with you!!! If there is anything I have learned over the years, it is that time is a thief!
You are the most incredible little girl in the entire world. Words can’t even begin to describe how I felt the moment I first saw you. My heart stopped beating for a moment and all the love I have pointed right at you. I was so overwhelmed with emotion and joy. It has been my honor to get to know you over the last few weeks here on the outside. There are so many things I want to remember, and here are just a few…
–Looking into your eyes during your feedings. The way you look at me like I’m your entire world fills my heart so full that I can barely stand it!
–The most dramatic of ways that you wake up from a nap. Watching you stretch and move your arms and yawn entirely too big for your little face. It is so adorable! I have literally watched you take 20 minutes to wake up.
–How I’m pretty sure you’ve been smiling since day one, and no it’s different than your gas smiles. You have the most beautiful smile that reaches into your eyes so quickly
–The way you wrap your tiny little hand around my finger and hold on tight. Oh, how I love how you squeeze my finger!!! You do this a lot during your feedings, and there have been a few nights that you have fallen asleep holding my finger as well. I never want you to stop that.
–How amazingly sweet your head smells. I want to bottle that scent because I know it wont last forever!!!
–How long your hair is in the back from the day you were born. It comes down past the neck line on most of your clothes in the cutest way.
–Speaking of your hair, you have the cutest bed head ever. EVER!
–How you go from sweet to hangry in about 20 seconds. Seriously, that hanger you have? It has to come from me.
–The way you light up in the mornings when I start singing Good Morning Beautiful to you. Every. Single. Morning.
–How you hated when Grandma started singing Row Your Boat to you. You loved every song she sang to you except that!
–How you get super excited every time I tell you that Aunt Tracy is on her way to see you. You sure do love her! And trust me, she loves you too and would be here every single day if she could.
–How you love to sleep on your daddy. It is so sweet!
–Your chubby little cheeks. Your long skinny legs. Your perfect little nose. Your tiny wiggly toes. Your adorable belly button!
Your first doctor appointment was on Thursday, December 8th.
Your first outing was with me and your daddy. We met your Memom and Granddaddy at Sam’s Club, then had lunch at Frontera’s and finished our trip at Bargain Hunt. You slept the entire time.
You lost your umbilical cord on Saturday, December 17th.
Your first girl’s day with me and your Grandma happened! We went shopping at Nordstrom Rack, had lunch at Purple Onion where I fed you while your Grandma ate and then she held you and let you look outside while I ate…and then we went to HomeGoods and picked out a lamp for your room. We finished our trip at Moda’s, but you were asleep for that. You were awake nearly the entire time we were in Nordstrom and you didn’t get fussy at all. You just took in your surroundings and enjoyed the time out.
We left off part one with the amnionfusion to take some pressure off the umbilical cord. Spoiler alert – it didn’t work.
They had to keep quitting the pitocin because her heart rate kept dropping. Every time they turned the pitocin off, my progress would start going backwards and the contractions would spread back out and I never dilated past 5cm.
The doctor finally came in and started talking other options. He said that if Zoe’s heart rate continued to drop during my contractions, he wanted to go ahead and get her. No reason to stress baby out anymore than needed. I told him that my birth plan was only to get the baby out safely, and if he felt a c section was the best option…then I was fine with it. He told me he really appreciated that attitude because it made it easier on him. and to hang tight for another 30 minutes to an hour to see how things would go.
I noticed that the nurse was going ahead and getting things prepped anyways, “just in case.” She looked at the contractions and heart rate again a few minutes later and immediately called the doctor back. I could tell by how fast she picked up her pace around the room that he was coming back to tell me a c section was happening sooner than later.
Sure enough, the moment he came in and looked at the printouts he said, “Ok, I don’t want to stress this baby girl out anymore. Let’s go in and get her!” Immediately the room filled with lots of people buzzing around, they were shoving scrubs at Chris and his mom was helping him get in to them. this became an emergency situation fast! I started to cry. I don’t know why? Maybe because I didn’t think it was going to happen like this. I mean, it is major surgery and I was certainly scared about that aspect but now I was worried about the baby too and I remember looking around the room and catching eye contact with Chris, my mom, my sister, my dad….and the tears just flowed and flowed. The last thing I remember happening before they all left the room was my dad coming up to my bed and kissing me on the forehead and telling me it was going to be ok.
It turns out, the reason her heart rate kept dropping during contractions was that the umbilical cord had gotten pushed down under her head and so every time I contracted, her head would go down on the umbilical cord and cut her off.
Next thing I know, I am being wheeled down to the operating room. It was so bright and so cold in there!!! I was shaking from the epidural and being scared. They had to hold my body down to start hooking me up to stuff in there because of how bad I was shaking. I remember one of the doctors in there telling me it was ok and that Chris was going to be coming in shortly and standing next to me. Then I started to feel really out of it. I remember having the hardest time keeping my eyes opened but I could hear everyone in the room running around, ripping things opened, shouting back and forth at each other, and then next thing I know….the doctor is telling Chris to stand behind my left shoulder.
I remember hearing Chris’s voice next to me saying “Is she ok?!?!” And I felt his hand on my shoulder. I remember hearing the doctor telling him that I was a little out of it but that I could hear everything that was going on.
It seemed like a second later they were telling me that Zoe was here. I remember them telling Chris “come on over here with us daddy!” and I could hear Zoe crying. I heard them calling her birth at 10:20am.
Then what seemed like one more second later, Chris was back behind me and he placed Zoe on my chest on her side and was holding her up on me with one hand and someone saying “Open your eyes Nadine, your daughter wants to meet you!” It took all my concentration to open my eyes but when I did, Zoe was staring right at me. I remember saying “Hi Zoe” and her and I just looked at each other for a few minutes and I remember feeling instantly so full of love and joy for this little girl staring at me. And even though I was completely out of it, I focused on just keeping eye contact with her and not wanting to look away for even half a second. What seemed like maybe a few minutes (???) went by and then they told me that Chris was going to go with Zoe and the nurses and they were going to finish up with my surgery so that I could go have skin to skin back in the recovery room.
I remember the two doctors/nurses standing up near my head telling me what was going on, and that they were going to turn me to one side and it was going to feel like I was going to fall off the table but not to worry because they had me…and then they were going to flip me on my other side. Then I remember them telling me that they were going to shoot something into my back and it was going to feel like cold water. I remember them picking me up off the operating table and putting me back in the bed and wheeling me back to my room.
When they opened the door to the room, I remember seeing Chris sitting in a chair holding Zoe. The site immediately made me wake up and be more aware of what was going on.
The nurse got Zoe and brought her over to me and asked me if I was ready to start her first feeding. And just like that, I was holding little Zoe Jane and nursing her for the first time. She latched instantly and I remember listening to her little noises and knowing that everyone was right about what they say about having a child. That you never knew you could feel so much love for someone so tiny that you just met, but it was instant. And strong. And fierce.
Chris went out to the waiting room to let everyone know that Zoe was here, that she was 7 lbs 20 inches and that we were doing good and he would come back for them soon. He showed them a picture of her on his phone and that is when his dad captured everyone getting to see her for the first time. This picture is everything to me!!!
I think we were back in the room with her alone doing skin to skin for about an hour and then I told Chris that I was ready for our family to come back. I felt bad they had all stayed over night and hadn’t been able to see us and I knew that they were dying to meet Zoe. The nurse told me that they could come back for a few minutes to see her, and then they were going to move me to our suite and that our family could go wait on the 6th floor in the waiting room until we were settled in our room up there.
I remembered the smile on each of their faces as they entered the room and looked right at Zoe laying in my arms. My mom was the first person to hold her from me and then Chris’s mom. Each of them took their turn and got pictures with her before we moved to our suite.
And just like that, this tiny little girl came in to the world and stole all of our hearts. All 7 pounds 20 inches of pure sweetness! Her apgar score was an 8 or 9, and I remember feeling so proud of her passing her first test with flying colors 🙂
I wanted to make sure I got this birth story typed up as quickly as I could, I don’t want to forget any details of the most important event of our lives! Saturday, December 3, 2016 started out like any other normal day. I was a day past my due date and feeling good. Well, as good as one can feel when they are 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant and ready to evict the baby! It was funny because on her due date, I drove Chris to the doctor because he caught a nasty bug at work and did some grocery shopping. I remember people stopping to say “Oh wow you look like you are about to pop, when are you due.” And my response was a smile with “today.” They always looked immediately nervous, like my water was going to bust all over their floor. Haha! I knew she wasn’t coming out on her due date. I woke up knowing I would be pregnant for at least another day.
Anyways, back to Saturday, December 3. The day started like a normal Saturday. I felt pretty tired, but I got up and did some things around the house. I felt a few contractions but that was the new normal for me each morning and I didn’t think much about it. Around noon, I started to notice the contractions were still there and starting to come about every 12-15 minutes apart. I told no one. I wasn’t going to jinx this! Right before the SEC Championship started, I mentioned to Chris that I had been having contractions the last few hours and I was going to try and hold out the entire game, but that this might be the real deal.
The game went on and my contractions started getting really strong and painful. and closer together!!! When forth quarter started, I got up and packed the last minute items in our hospital bag and really started tracking the time between each contraction. They were anywhere from 3 and a half to five minute apart and it had been about an hour and a half of that. Time to call the doctor!!!
I called the after hours line and told them what was going on. They told me that my doctor was actually the one on call (Yay!!!!) and that she would be calling me shortly. I answered the phone to “OMG are we going to have a baby tonight?!?! ” My doctor was just as excited as I was! She told me that she would meet me at the hospital!
We packed up the car and I handed Chris the keys. It was his first time driving my car and I am pretty sure he never went over 70 MPH the entire way. He called his sister and his parents, and I had texted my sister a few hours ago to let her in on my contractions but texted her to let her know we were in fact in route to the hospital! I then texted my mom and dad and let them know too, but said that I would text them all when I was getting admitted. I didn’t want them all driving an hour down there for a false alarm.
When we got to the hospital, we were taken back to triage right away and I signed what felt like an encyclopedia of paper work and got checked. You guys…I was only 1 cm dilated. What?!?! They hooked me up to the fetal heart monitor and the contraction monitor and told me to hang out for a few hours there and see if I progress any. I was so scared they were going to send me home and I didn’t want to go all the way back there!!!
After a few very painful hours, they came back to check me and I still hadn’t progressed any but they could see how intense and quickly my contractions were coming so they called my doctor who said to go ahead and admit me.
Chris’s parents and sister had gotten to the hospital shortly after us and had been out in the waiting room the entire time, so I was just glad to get a room so they could come back with us too. My family all arrived shortly after we were admitted.
Around midnight (I think maybe after??) my doctor decided that my body had enough of the pain and went ahead and ordered my epidural. Why anyone wants a natural birth without one is beyond me. I wasn’t trying to be a hero, there is modern medicine for a reason and I was in so much pain my entire body was shaking. I was so thankful for the magical relief!!!
At that point, they let our family come back in to say goodnight to me, they wanted Chris and I to get some rest. My sister, mom, dad and MIL stayed in the waiting room the entire night and never left the hospital. I remember when the nurses came in to check on me every 20 minutes or so that I would wake up feeling super guilty that they were out there just waiting. My doctor had come in at one point and broke my water and started me on pitocin.
While the pitocin was starting to work to progress me along quicker, it was also causing Zoe’s heartbeat to drop during each contraction.
Around this time, my doctor was going off duty and another doctor was coming on. I knew I was still in good hands, so I was ok with that. I loved the other doctor too and was thankful it was him if it couldn’t be mine.
When the new doctor came on, he decided to perform an amnioinfusion, which pumps fluids back in to me because he felt that since my water broke, there was pressure being put on the umbilical cord somewhere or it was wrapped around her neck…and he wanted to see if that would help. This was sometime between 5-7am.