Monday, August 27, 2012

Thea Bea

Oh, where to start? I have a lot of 'events' to post about but I wanted to make sure to write a little bit about Thea and what she's like as a baby.

As you might have noticed we picked a name that wasn't on our list. Both of us like names that having a fitting meaning (Henry means 'home ruler' yeah, shouldn't have thought that one over because man is it true) and Dorothea means gift of God. It had come up before, but Johann said he wasn't a huge fan and I was okay with putting it off the list since the only person I knew who had a name close to Dorothea was a Dorothy in high school and people called her some not nice things with her name and she wasn't my favorite person, so my association with the name wasn't that great. But, as the time got closer we just felt like Gwendolyn (which is what we were going to go with) wasn't her name and Dorothea came up again. We waited a long time for this little girl so we both felt that she was and is our little gift from God.

So far, Thea is an incredibly easy baby, especially compared to Henry. She loves, loves, loves to eat and is still a pretty good sleeper, though she is starting to get more sensitive to noise and has a harder time falling asleep during the daytime because of it.

She is obviously not a worry with weight gain like Henry was. According to our scales at home she is already hitting the 12lbs mark at 7 weeks. It is so fun to have such a squishy, chubby baby to love on. Sometimes I like to call her Dough-Thea. =)

6 weeks (she's also a big fan of spit up, esp when I go to take pics)

Cuddly, cuddly! This little girl is all about getting cuddles. She also has a people radar and knows when everyone has left a room and will voice her displeasure about being left alone. Just tonight I left her in the swing in the bedroom, totally passed out after eating and having cuddled her for 20 minutes and watched her sleep in the swing for five, to grab something from the kitchen. When I came back she was wide awake whining about her predicament.

4 weeks

With Henry, the swing was the only place we could get him to sleep for more than 10 minutes at a time but with Thea, the swing won't sooth her if she is upset but she'll sleep in it for naps happily. Her biggest non-nursing soother is being swaddled. She starts to smile every time I do the first wrap and it cracks me up. The paci is ok if you hold it in her mouth for her the majority of the time but overall she won't maintain it on her own.

Which brings me to my next thing about Thea-the girl is definitely not the high-energy, driven baby Henry was. He was always on the playmat trying his darndest to move around, roll, wiggle etc. Thea will go on the mat for 10 minutes at a time or so and then is 'just so wiped out' that she needs a cuddle, a quick feeding and a nap afterwards. It's hilarious.

I just asked Johann what else to put about her and he said, "She's intelligent. She's brilliant." I asked him to qualify that and he just laughed. So, take that for what it's worth. He also says she poops a lot. Which is true. She does seem to poop more than your average baby. She works on those diapers hard with lots of grunting, but now she seems to grunt even when she's not at work; in fact she is just a loud baby overall, always making some sort of noise if she isn't sleeping and sometimes in her sleep too, but most especially when she is nursing. She is starting to move from just making grunting and goat noises to coos and is even beginning to trot out the social smile every now and again. I think 80 percent of her smiles can still be attributed to tummy bubbles though.

If I could get a guarantee that all my babies would be like Thea I would probably have at least 4 more. I absolutely love and adore this little girl!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Dorothea Arrives

July 6th, 2012 at 7:55am, our little miss Dorothea was born- 7lbs 6.7oz and 19in.
St. Mary's Hospital, Apple Valley, California 

Our morning began around 4:30am when we got up to be at the hospital by 5 for check in. I figured knowing how things go in hospitals we wouldn't have my surgery by 7am like it was scheduled and I didn't want to sit in triage for over 2 hours but still tried to be mostly on time since I had some blood work that had to be done beforehand. 

We arrived closer to 5:30am, got into triage and did all the necessary what nots. The 'best moment' of triage is probably a tie between the first nurse not being able to get an IV into my arm and having the second nurse come and get it into my hand but squirting blood everywhere (even a bit onto Johann's shoe) in the process AND the poor wailing woman two curtains down from me.  I felt bad being able to joke with the nurses and take pictures while this poor girl was obviously in distress, though I get the impression she was over doing it a bit from the reactions of her nurses when they would leave the room. 

After about an hour or so the anesthesiologist came in to have a chat with me about how we were going to make sure I couldn't feel my lovely procedure. With Henry I had what I thought was an epidural and it went really well. I wanted to just do another epidural instead of the spinal I was told was the standard for c-sections. I told the nurse this, who told the anesthesiologist. She came in to talk about it and I am so appreciative of the way she dealt with it. Instead of just telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, she's the doc, blah blah blah, we went over why I wanted to go a different route etc for about 20 minutes. 

It turned out I had actually had an epidural and spinal combination with Henry, as the anesthesiologist said, "they were all the rage" 4 years ago until they realized they didn't actually work any better and were more risky than needed. With a promise extracted from her that with the spinal she would make sure I could still move my arms and not feel like I wasn't breathing (heard from several people who had this sensation with a spinal and sent them into a panic attack) I agreed we'd go that route after all. 

About 15 minutes later, it was off to surgery. 

Everyone in the operating room was really helpful but it is a little overwhelming to have all these people there in this big sterile room. There was an EMT there too to learn about doing c-sections and the medication etc. The anesthesiologist was the most informative and helpful throughout, talking about what was being put in, how my body reacted, stopping to answer any questions I or the EMT had. I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself (or rather happy to live the word of wisdom) when she had to change her medication plan because in her words, "this isn't the normal reaction of most women, so we need to change to a different med because she must be really, really healthy." High-five! 

Finally the doc came in and it was go time. Johann stayed by my head until the very end because he wasn't sure if he was allowed to look until he asked right as they got ready to pull her out. I was so grateful to still be with it, and true to her word, the anesthesiologist made sure I had use of my arms and could feel my breathing by simply elevating my upper body with a doubled up pillow to keep the medication from flowing up my spine that far. So simple but so effective. 

So after 9 months and then 20 minutes or so in the operating room, we heard our little girl. They did everything right by my bedside so I got to watch her being checked, cleaned and swaddled. I got to hold her while they stitched me up and feel those soft, chubby, chubby checks on mine. It's such a surreal but beautiful experience, those first few minutes. 

I feel like I remembered most things about a newborn, but I had definitely forgotten just how soft they are. 

From there we headed to recovery where I got to feed and cuddle Thea some more. I also had the wonderful surprise of having one of my YW leaders be one of the nurses who comes in to discuss breast feeding and some other things with me. It was so nice to see her again. 

We ended up being in the recovery room a bit longer than planned since there were so many births over the past 2 days, they were having trouble finding somewhere to put us. We ended up being in a split room in the medical surgery area (which led to lurkers sometimes when they found out there were babies they wanted to come see and the nurses had to shoo people out from where 4-6 mothers were). 

 One of my biggest 'fears' was sharing a room with someone I didn't know but the first mom and her family were incredibly nice-whenever I was alone, if the father heard anything fall or move, he would either peek around and ask if I needed help or call from the curtain, which actually came in handy when I did drop something and couldn't move because I was still numb. Sadly they left that night and the new group came in at midnight dropping the F bomb and talking loudly until the nurse kicked those friends out. From then on they were quiet and we didn't really hear or see them much.

Henry had fun coming to visit and the nurses loved it when he did, especially when he brought his costumes to dress up in. The guy who did Dorothea's hearing test got a kick out of him and when we went back a few days later to retest her, he was asking about Henry and his superhero antics. The front desk was also very nice and gave Henry the little bear above to practice holding and being a good brother too. My older brother commented on how nice it must be to be Henry, 'wouldn't it be nice to walk down halls and everyone just says how cute you are, gives you things and you have no doubt that everyone is just happy you're there?' haha! 

We had a lot of nice visits over the time I was stuck in the hospital Friday morning to Sunday morning and overall it wasn't such a bad stay especially because I got to stay the shortest amount of time possible. You better believe I was walking those halls like a mad woman to prove I was fit to go home. The best part of the stay was in the wee hours of Sunday morning, seeing the sun light streaming into the room, holding Dorothea, falling in a out of sleep and realizing it was the last time I would have to just cuddle her without worrying about everything else that goes into running a house and family. It was such a sweet time to have it just be me and Thea. 

I just love our little girl and am so grateful to have her in our family.