Monday, October 25, 2010

First Month

So far I've found it pretty hard to find time to keep up with updates to the blog since Lily's arrival. Hopefully things will continue to settle down so I can get back to it. I miss blogging, and mostly I miss keeping in touch with you guys! I'm eager to get caught up with what's going on in your lives.

We are doing really well. I'm so glad to tell you that I've been feeling so much better. Thanks for your encouraging words and prayers for my recovery! Just feeling close to normal again has made such a huge difference. I'm thrilled that now I have much more time and energy to spend loving on this sweet baby girl.

Lily is five weeks old now and really growing and changing. She is sweet as can be! Over the past few days we've been enjoying watching her discover fun things during her awake time. Just this weekend she started spending about 20 minutes at a time on her play mat, punching and kicking the toys that hang from the bars.

She is much more active during the day lately and it's been fun to see. It has also brought about some slightly longer stretches of sleep at night, which is wonderful!

Lily's favorite spot in the entire house is definitely her changing table. We really aren't sure why she loves it so much, but she is always happy as a lark when she is there. She loves having her diaper changed, so I guess that's part of it!

She also really likes having a bath, so I'm thinking she must just like to be clean. :)

Today I was thinking about how I always felt that living with recurrent miscarriage was like living in a nightmare. I hoped that one day I would just wake up from it and it wouldn't have been real. Now I find myself fearing that maybe the past ten months have all been an amazing dream. I'm afraid I might wake up and it will be over. Sometimes I look at little Lily Rae and I can't believe that this entire year actually happened and that she is finally here with us.

She certainly is our wish and dream come true!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Two Weeks and Two Days

Hello dear friends!

Baby Lily is here and we are all at home and doing well. Thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments about her birth day. Those will be really fun to share with her one day!

So much has happened over the past two weeks and two days -- since Lily Rae's arrival. I will try to give you the short version rather than something that might take hours to read. First let me say that the baby is absolutely great. She is... amazing, wonderful, perfect! I truly am tempted to spend my days just staring at her. She has the deepest eyes, cutest button nose, perfect heart-shaped lips, and the longest little fingers I've ever seen on a baby. :)

We came home from the hospital on Friday night (September 24) after having to wait a few extra hours for her bilirubin results to come in. Lily had a little bit of jaundice in the hospital, but they let us go ahead and go home as long as we took her in to the clinic over the weekend to have it re-checked. The bilirubin got up to 16 and then started to decrease by Sunday, much to our relief. In addition, Lily's birth weight was 8 pounds 10 ounces, but it was down to 7 pounds 9 ounces when we were discharged. She has continued to gain weight since then, though, and this week she was back up to her exact birth weight at her two-week check up. Yay Lily!

I can't tell you how relieved I am that she has done so well, especially since the last two weeks have been quite difficult for me as far as recovery goes. I'm not really sure why, but things seemed to go haywire as soon as I left the hospital. During the first weekend at home I started having shortness of breath and chest pain, which made it almost impossible for me to get any rest. I would wake up gasping for air and terrified that I was going to stop breathing. My blood pressure shot up (which is very uncommon for me and never happened during my pregnancy) and my ankles and feet began to swell quite a bit. With all of that going on plus the recovery from my c-section, I felt absolutely horrible. There is no way I could have made it through that weekend if I hadn't had my mom and sister here to help with the baby.

After making a few calls to the doctor on call over the weekend and trying to avoid the ER, I went to see my OB first thing Monday morning. She immediately sent me over to the ER to make sure I didn't have a pulmonary embolism. I was pretty freaked out at that point, but the CT scan of my chest turned out clear. The ER doc has had me following up with a cardiologist as well, and so far my echocardiogram and blood tests have all looked good. Over the past couple of days my swelling and blood pressure have also decreased. It's frustrating to not know why everything went crazy, but I'm just beyond relieved that I actually am starting to feel normal again. For a while there I felt like it would never happen. Every day is getting better now and I'm able to enjoy this precious baby girl more and more.

My mom is still here, thankfully! She has helped me out so much for the past few weeks. I truly don't know how I would have been able to make it through the days and especially the nights without her help. She is an awesome Granny! I know Lily will miss her as much as I will when she goes back home this weekend.

Breastfeeding has been a struggle all its own for the past few weeks. Again, Lily Rae is fantastic. She is such a good baby and I've been amazed at how patient and adaptable she has been through all of my trials and errors. We started out pretty well with nursing in the hospital, but we had to supplement with formula for a few days after we came home to get her over the jaundice. Besides that, I had to dump my breast milk for 48 hours after having the iodine for the CT scan. We went through a very rough patch afterwards where I had to continue pumping and giving her the milk in a bottle while my breasts were on the mend. I'm happy to say that for the past three days we have gotten back into a good nursing routine! I'm so proud of this baby girl for sticking with it and not giving up while I struggled. Nursing continues to be a challenge but I am persevering.

I have to admit that, all things considered, this recovery time has been one of the toughest things I've ever been through. Of course it has a huge reward and it's worth every tear and every small setback. Simply looking at her sweet face and remembering all it took to get to this point are all I need to do to find the motivation to press on. I know it will be at least a few more weeks before I truly feel better. I really can't help but wonder what in the world people were talking about when they told me that c-sections were "no big deal"!

We are hanging in there and making progress every day, and that's a huge improvement as far as I'm concerned! Thanks for thinking of us and for praying for Lily's safe arrival. I still can't quite believe that this beautiful girl is here in our home and is ours to keep. Thank you, Lord!

Soon I will post some of our favorite pictures of our little bundle of joy from her first two weeks of life. She looks so different from those very first images in the operating room! Here is one of my favorites until then...